Ew. Yuck. Another one of those words. Why do they keep having the ones I don’t like? Really, change is over-rated. There’s a lot to be said for consistency, for routine. You can get much better at something that you practice a whole lot. You can grow deeper roots if you stay in one place. You can build up some equity and gain some stability. The Jewish faith is great for not changing. We’ve been lighting candles for 1000’s of years, we’ve been saying these words, we’ve been blessing wine, we’ve been reading those books. We love not changing.
Personally, I can’t stand change. I work and work and work at what I’m supposed to do until it works. I don’t give up. I hold on, no matter what. That’s just who I am. Of course, God thinks this is hilarious, which is why my life is chock-full of constant changes. Everything – where I live and who I live with, what I do for a living, what language I use to communicate even – everything changes over and over again. People who are close get more distant, and people who are acquaintances become close friends. I learn new things and realize I’m wrong about things I thought I knew. I am in the Jewish Reform movement – so called because of constant ‘reform’ to outdated rules and traditions – that is, change. God just waits for me to say, ‘I am never doing this’ to ensure that I’ll end up doing just that before I know it. If I get too comfy cosy in a situation, if I start thinking ‘this is the way things are’, poof! The things disappear.
So, I’m left with liking change, because not liking something that one is constantly stuck with is a recipe for disaster. One doesn’t have to be best friends with change, but a modicum of affection is probably indicated as a way to manage its frequency. (Gosh, sometimes it’s fun to use big words)
Fundamentally, change happens. It’s an essential part of growth. It’s an essential part of t’shuva. I’m not giving up on continuity though. I like traditions. I think tradition IS community. I like focus and persistence. They are good ways ensure that I gain skills. I like commitment. I don’t believe that relationships can develop without some form of commitment. I need continuity for the changes I want. So – this is another place for balance. I accept the change that comes into my life. I strive for the changes I want. I use habit and ritual as tools to help simplify my life and let it work better. I use change to avoid stagnation. I use stability to avoid randomness. And I use humour to laugh at myself for thinking any of this is in my hands, when so clearly, time and again, God shows me otherwise.