Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Lord, things change again.
When will I be able to rest in the comfort of knowing what comes next?
You, who transcend all time,
who created the stars and set them in place,
you, who are ageless yet known in every age,
grant me the grace to accept the
changes that are happening.
Empty my heart of anxiety,
and fill it instead with wonder and awe.
Release me from the chains of complacency,
and bind me to your ever-moving Spirit.
When the things I believed to be permanent and stable are left by the way side,
enfold me in your undying love that I may remember in whom all things are
When fear of something new paralyzes me,
And grief cripples me with anger over the loss of what had been,
Send your angels to give me a gentle push over that frightening edge into the unknown,
So that I may learn to trust in you.
For you alone are eternal.
You alone are enduring.
You alone are the everlasting Lord.
And in you alone will this restless world find peace.
-Diana Macalintal (2010)
This was read the other night at church, and it was especially appropriate since we are in the midst of much change – the New Roman Missal is due to be released in November, we are undergoing diocesean strategic planning, plus our parish will be beginning strategic planning in the next few months. Our parish needs to have the strength to make some difficult decisions and still remain true to our core. We are a parish with a great sense of community that can only get stronger. We have undergone a lot of change in the last 15 years – not because chose to, but because the situation forced us to.
At every turn, change is upon us – no matter if it is at church, at home, or at work. Change can be uncomfortable, and it may make people leave because they are unwilling or unable to change. It boils down to how the leadership of the organization approaches change. Are they willing to undertake the journey with the group, or do they subliminally set up roadblocks or give the impression they don’t want to change? If the leadership is willing, change will come and the journey will be a lot easier than if leadership gives the impression that the change is unwelcome. As Father Jason said tonight, “I can’t make the decision for the parish, but I can walk along with you during the journey.” That’s what is required of leaders – to walk the journey.