This is the last article I’ll write for Christian Odyssey, since this is the last issue of the magazine. Sometimes decisions happen so fast we barely have time to process them, much less have a bit of closure. So I’ve learned to live without closure in a lot of areas of life. Knowing what, why, when, how and where are not as important to me as they once were. A good journalist will usually seek to answer those questions. However, when no satisfactory conclusion is found, the Christian writer learns to rely on “who.” Our “who” is God. As long as God knows, as I’m sure he does, I can live with it.
I have loved writing for this publication and developing a relationship with the readers. The notes and comments I’ve received have been so encouraging. Writing can be a lonely life—just you, your computer and a thesaurus in case the Internet goes down. Sometimes writers never really know if what they have to say resonates with readers. Wanting my exit to be a memorable one, I’m perplexed about what to write.
Part of me wants to write about how hard it is to change or move on. God knows I hate to change. Change requires leaving my comfort zone. Being a tenacious, “set in my ways” type person, I find change extremely difficult. But change comes whether we like it or not—especially in today’s rapidly moving society. To resist is folly. If we cannot embrace an inevitable change, we can at least adapt. Change doesn’t mean we alter our belief in Jesus Christ. It just means we make adjustments and find different ways of getting the gospel message to an ever-changing world.
Besides, from a spiritual perspective, change is a vital part of the Christian life. Peter says, “Grow in grace and knowledge” (2 Peter 3:18). Change is a part of our growth cycle. Without change there is no spiritual maturity. And if we believe Jesus is involved in our lives, then change, although difficult, can be met with hopeful expectation. It will be exciting to see where God eventually leads us.
While change is difficult, saying goodbye is even worse. What pithy words of wisdom can I leave with you? One of my favorite Bible passages comes to mind. When the apostle Paul comes to the end of his letter to the Philippians he says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I love those words!
He goes on to say, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9). Not being in the same league as Paul, I’ll just say from my heart to yours, “If you have received anything from me that has brought you closer to God, then God be praised!”
Author: Barbara Dahlgren