Like many of you I imagine, I am a regular blood donor. And after years of donating, I’ve decided that my least favourite part of the whole process is taking off the plaster six hours later. Even though I’ve done it dozens of times before, I keep thinking that there must be a way of peeling it off slowly so that it doesn’t feel like it’s taking three layers of skin with it. However, everyone knows that it’s best to pull off the plaster quickly, and to get it over in one smooth motion!
The truth is that there’s quite a lot of change around at the moment. In our nation, there’s constantly-changing rules about travel, and a bunch of social etiquette to work out – masks, hugs, all that. In the church, there’s some changes with our home groups, we’re meeting back in person, we didn’t run Holiday Club and instead we put on Encounter. We’re introducing a new monthly prayer meeting. And then there’s personal change – I know many of us are processing changes in our families and our friendships – people moving on, children flying the nest, and health issues coming up.
As I’ve been praying for us, I’ve been brought back to this picture of pulling off a plaster. There’s a time when it’s right, and when that time comes, you might as well get finish the job. As we put, from a UK perspective, the most dramatic phase of the pandemic behind us, and as we start to re-open and re-engage, it’s probably the right time for change – it’s a season of change. From a church perspective, I’d rather we had a period where a number of things changed in close succession, letting us adjust and find a new groove, rather than stretching out the change over a longer period to make it feel less daunting.
For those of us who are finding this season harder – take heart! We’re not going to live in a state of constant change the whole time. Some changes are difficult, others easy – but through all of it, the Lord is our guide and our Good Shepherd, and He has us on a good path.