by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.

Change is the word of the day or perhaps even the year. But change what, why and how?

Change for the mere sake of change can be meaningless and sometimes destructive. Without a defined purpose, change is a hollow word. One definition of change means to become different. It doesn’t specify whether the difference will be for better or worse.

This is probably why some say beware of change simply for the sake of change. Although too much change can be pointless or even dangerous, too little change results in stagnation, idleness, and laziness. Both usually lack reason and vision.

For many, a new year includes new beginnings, and a new beginning often requires a change of some sort. A change is usually needed to not repeat past mistakes. But perhaps a new beginning is not so much a call for a change as it is a call for correction, progress, growth, improvement, reform.

A change in one’s point of view is usually required in order to gain a new outlook. And a new perspective promises to result in fresh ideas, unforeseen opportunities, exciting inspirations and bold revelations.

Some folks caution, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I for one have often welcomed the idea of change and making changes. Before I met my husband, my life had long been filled with changes.

My mom and I moved frequently, so there wasn’t one location or house I thought of as home. Home was wherever my mom was. Every time we moved, we cleaned out and disposed of any unnecessary or unwanted items to make room for the new. My mom said this helped us rid ourselves of clutter and make the most of our new space. So our many changes in where we lived helped us to be more productive, efficient and creative.

Regardless of where we were living or how long we had lived there, my New Year tradition included rearranging and redecorating my room. There were usually new items received at Christmas to find a place for. So I enjoyed cleaning out my room and also rearranging the furniture and changing the wall décor, too.

Was it absolutely necessary that I make all the changes to my room each year? Probably not. But somehow making the changes was invigorating and encouraged my high anticipation for a New Year filled with new experiences and discoveries.

Although I have lived with my husband in the same house for 28 years now, I have still continued my New Year tradition, even if only in small ways. To make room for Christmas decorations each year requires that I pack up and store various home décor. So my fun begins when packing up Christmas decorations. As I unpack all my stored home décor, I rearrange where I place items, finding new ways to use old things. It’s always amazing to me how making simple changes can make the old feel new again.

For me, change has been more of a good thing rather than bad. This is not to say I’ve not experienced difficult changes that required challenging adjustments. Deaths of family members and friends as well as moves that involved separation from good friends or family were not easy changes. And there have been times when I was forced to change schools or a job before I wanted to.

My life experiences have convinced me, however, that when one door closes, another opens. I believe God is always with us guiding and moving us forward. And God provides comfort and encouragement as well as infinite opportunities and possibilities. There are always new discoveries to be made and growth to be experienced.

Remember this, my friends, when you are faced with changes. You may discover that it’s often your own perspective which keeps you from seeing an open door. And you may find a change in direction can lead you to the perfect occasion, the right set of circumstances or a golden opportunity.