I was having a cup of coffee with my good friend Matt. As we spoke, we talked about changes and transitions.
He had recently moved to a new organization and was enjoying it. He mentioned something the CEO said about their industry, which I think applies to all of us. Let me share.
Things are as fast today as they’ve ever been … and it’ll never be this slow again!
Change has always been part of life, but it always feels faster than it was the generation before. For younger people today, they’ve only known this pace. For those who are a little older, we feel the speed of change more quickly.
These statistics boggle the mind:
- It took the airlines 68 years to reach their first 50 million customers.
- It took the automobile industry 62 years to hit 50 million drivers.
- It took the telephone 50 years to reach 50 million users.
Fast forward to the 1990s and beyond:
- Within 7 years, 50 million people were using the Internet.
- Within 3 years, 50 million people were using Facebook.
Whether you played Pokemon Go or not, it only took 19 days to get to 50 million players! What an amazing pace of change.
Where is God in the midst of this crazy, fast-paced world of ours?
He’s right here with us. He hasn’t changed and never will change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”(Hebrews 13:8).
I think God uses change to provide an opportunity for us to do things differently, to learn and grow. Today we have more tools to do things more quickly and efficiently. That’s a good thing.
However, many people become overwhelmed by the pace of change, losing their feeling of competence. We all want to feel capable, and we hate it when we don’t.
My wife and I are feeling incompetent these days. We recently switched from satellite TV to a bundle of streaming services. What we had mastered with our old satellite system we struggle to do now.
(I’m embarrassed to say we had closed captioning on our screen that we didn’t intentionally turn on, and it took a couple of weeks to accidently find a way to turn it off!)
However, no matter the changes, we’ll figure it out or learn. And somewhere in the future, there will be something new that makes us wish for the good old days … like streaming TV.
When facing change, we have two choices. We can ignore it and keep looking back to the past with longing eyes for the “slower” days. Or, we can use it as a learning opportunity.
Yes, we will fail in handling some changes. We’ll feel incompetent sometimes. But through those experiences, we will learn and grow the most.
Take time to swallow your pride and ask for help. If you’re older, we’ve become accustomed to asking someone younger (your children or their friends) for their assistance.
For those in their late 20s or 30s, it might be a more difficult and humbling experience realizing you’ve become engulfed in life, career, children, etc. and you are no longer the one who is on top of the newest changes. You may for the first time have to accept that reality and ask that new person on your team for help.
By asking for and receiving help, you’ll learn, while allowing someone else to feel “competent.”
And remember, God is with you in the middle of change. He’ll even hear your complaints about not being able to turn off the closed captioning on your TV.