Time for change

Down in London a couple of months ago I was walking past a gym and noticed the wording on the advertising board outside: ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’. And I wondered as I strolled on: ‘Is that true? Really?’

Well, maybe it is. We might think we love change, find change very easy. We might chase after novelty, always wanting some new, different, better, shiny thing. But getting new things doesn’t change who we are. It just changes the stuff we have around us - in our cupboards, on our shelves, in our display units. Once the first excitement has died down, which it usually does pretty quickly, new stuff doesn’t mean new self.

I guess on the whole we like to be comfortable, settled in our minds, our emotions on an even keel. We don’t like to be unsettled or upset. But staying in our comfort zones doesn’t challenge us. And it doesn’t change us. And most of us could do with making some changes – myself included.

I heard someone on the radio last week talking about how they’d reached a significant birthday and made a resolution to try some new thing (I think it was a new thing every week) right through the year. It might have been a new thing every day, or maybe every month. But whichever way, it would be a challenge.

I wonder what new things they will try: taste new food, visit strange places, talk to strangers in the queue, pray, smile at neighbours, go to the opera, try hang-gliding, turn up at church, risk some random acts of kindness? And see what happens? Any or all of these could be challenging, difficult, even dangerous.

What will you do this new year? Will it challenge you? Will it change you?

Happy New Year everyone.
Love Rev’d Lorna

PS We’re making some small changes at church this year: starting in January, ‘Breathe’ at Nocton with move to the first Sunday of the month, and church4ALL at Potterhanworth will move to the second and fourth Sundays. You’ll be welcome.

Love Lorna

Rector of Branston with Nocton and Potterhanworth