“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Life is filled with seasons, which means change. Time brings change.  Changes in life include:  Youth – getting started (first 20 years), Adulthood – Period from 20 to 65 and Senior Years – Age 65 to death

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is a view of change and the balance that results. God fixes the seasons for us but the times of change are unpredictable.  In Ephesians 5:16 Paul tells us to redeem the time.  How do we redeem the time when we are constantly changing?

Change involves the whole person:  We must attempt to balance all changes with our physical self, emotional self, and spiritual self. It will be unhealthy for one aspect of a person’s being to change at the expense of another. The balance must be kept in perspective.

Growth changes relationships:  The dependent infant is different in relationships than the independent-seeking adolescent.  Each stage of change creates a special tension of its own. Parents care for their children; time and circumstances could easily see children care for their parents. CHANGES!  The human problem in relationships is the struggle for independence and autonomy.

People are always changing:  Life is always in process. It is difficult to know when and how to incorporate change; thus the saying, “too old to cry, too young to curse.”  When change comes too fast, we can become disoriented and disillusioned. Each change has positive and negative aspects.

Contending with change requires three responses, then:

1. Letting Go.   Development requires letting go in relationships. Early growth demands a lot of letting go for parents. Moving, death, marriage, divorce, and multitudes of other of life’s occurrences require that we “let go”.

2. Holding On.  There are some aspects of relationships that we should not let go, but holding on is the requirement instead. This understanding calls for a balance. This delicate balance is easily seen when parents and adolescents strive for an agreement of control within the household. Expanding boundaries is different from no boundaries.

3. Staying Put.  Some aspects of life need to remain in place for us. We all need certain stable points to lean on. The writer of Hebrews found this need fulfilled in our Savior. He said, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8)  Leaving some things stable is helpful for children when their parents are going through the process of divorce.   The aspect of things staying put is needed more at some development stages than others.

Change is an inevitable part of life. How we embrace it or run from it defines if we are able to “redeem” it.

-Dale Clemens