September 21, 2020
As of this writing, we are now in our sixth month of being quarantined because of the pandemic. In those six months we have witnessed different kinds of changes. We may have different views whether the changes are for the better or worse, but we can all agree that if we want to move forward, we have to learn how to adapt to change.
I am the type of person who finds beauty in patterns and routines. I am guilty of being resistant and hesitant to change. But if there’s one lesson that I learned from change, it is this:
This is not just applicable in school or at home but in the totality of life. This is not to say that we have to change everything about ourselves. While it is important for every person to have enduring moral values, it is also important to bear in our minds that it is possible to stand on what you believe in, but change how you live it out.
I value my relationships with my family, friends, and the students I am leading. Before the pandemic, my way of expressing their value in my life is to hang out with them either by eating out or going to the movies. Obviously, I cannot do that now. So instead of risking everyone’s health, including mine, I turn to video calls in order to build relationships with them.
I held on to my belief, but I changed the way I lived it out.
It is not easy to adapt to change, and by experience, it usually brings different levels of inconvenience. However, experiencing inconvenience for a limited time for the sake of adapting to change will yield benefits in the long run.
The good news is that everyone can learn and develop the skill necessary to adapt to change. There are no shortcuts, but there is a starting point.
Embrace new things. The sooner we learn to embrace the new things in our lives, the sooner we are able to adapt to change. Embracing new things means learning to face them and not running away from them.
The “new things” vary from person to person. It would be helpful to start identifying what’s new in your life and writing them down. Your set of new things can be anything from having online classes to online hangouts. It can be from waiting for someone to help you with your projects to taking the initiative to seek help.
At first, the new things may be scary and overwhelming, but when we learn to embrace them, we will soon realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Instead, we will have many things to learn and enjoy.
Expect new challenges. I remember having a video call with a group of students that I regularly meet for coaching and discipleship. When I asked how their week was, all of them said that they were facing difficult challenges. They found it difficult to listen and focus on their teachers. The whole setup was difficult. Everything was difficult.
I told them plainly: “Do not be surprised. Expect that there will be new sets of challenges.”
This is not to invalidate what all of us are going through, but to remind ourselves that the more we move forward with life, the more we face new challenges. And in every challenge lies a choice to become a better person and a leader.
And even if the challenges ahead of us seem insurmountable, let us all rest in the truth that God told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). See, we can rise above any and every challenge not because we are strong, smart, or capable, but because the grace of God is upon us. And His grace is always more than enough.
Enhance yourself. The word “enhance” means “to raise to a higher degree.” One of the best ways to adapt to change is to not just to go through it, but to grow through it. It is true that change can be positive and negative, but regardless of its effects, we can use it for our own growth.
While it is true that change can bring out our weaknesses, it can also bring us to new levels of strength. Change may have brought out the worst in us, but we can use it to bring out the best in us. Change is constant, but it has no choice, unlike us. We have the ability to choose how the changes that we face will affect our lives.
At the end of the day, it is not change that determines how we live our lives but our choices.
Let us all make a choice to adapt to change by making it our ally.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison . . .
2 Corinthians 4:16,17