I was recently reminded of the theory of change from Greek philosopher Heraclitus and the idea that change is the only constant in life. In an article written by Phil Chick last month, the author reflects on how embracing change can help us to navigate the endings and beginnings of life, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Our lives and our work are a constant series of endings and beginnings. Some of these endings come suddenly or unexpectedly. Others are planned and come more gradually. Some are happy. Some are sad. But each ending gives us the opportunity for a new beginning. As is said, “When one door closes, another door opens.”
‘As I thought about some of these recent endings and beginnings, what we have been through these past fifteen months, and the general pace of our lives in the 21st century, I stepped back to assess some of the things that I have found helpful to make these transitions. Hopefully some of them will resonate with you.
‘Make time to reflect and be thankful for what is ending. Be grateful for what was learned and what was accomplished.
‘Make time to celebrate the new beginning and what we have to look forward to.
‘Recognize there are things about endings and beginnings that we do not control. Act on what we can control, but recognize and move on from what we can’t control.
‘Pause to reflect and refresh. The pace, chaos, and emotion of change can be stressful; make time to take care of ourselves and each other.
‘Be grateful for what we have and for those around us with whom we share these changes.
‘Remain optimistic and hopeful for what is yet to come and the new relationships that new beginnings may bring.
‘And finally, take time to remember that God is with us through all the events of our lives, and that these endings and beginnings are no different.’
As we experience changes to our daily routines, may the following prayer drawn from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer guide our responses and shape our confidence that God is with us.
Let us pray. O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God, Have mercy upon us. From lightning and violent storms; from earthquake, fire, and flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine, Good Lord, deliver us. From all violence, conflict, and murder; and from dying suddenly and unprepared, Good Lord, deliver us. Amen.
Middle School Chaplain