That is the title of the chapter I read this morning from Broken Open and it begins with a quote from the song by David Bowie: Ch-ch-ch- Changes, turn and face the strain
And that is the story of every life - changes that we don't want to face and that can strain us until we do. Change is constant and both easy and hard. But harder still when we resist.
One of the changes that is coming in my life is exciting for me. In September I will be starting a 30 week "Retreat in Daily Life" , committing myself to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyala. Normally one would do a thirty day retreat with these exercises, but this way it is spread over 30 weeks. And it will bring ch-ch- changes to my daily life. In doing this, I am committing myself to at least one hour of daily prayer in the morning and also evening prayer. And meeting with a spiritual director weekly. In preparation for this, last night I started the evening prayer time. This is a 5 step prayer time with these suggestions:
1. Pray for light
2. Review the Day with Thanksgiving
3. Review the feelings that survace in the replay of the day
4. Choose one of these feelings (positive or negative) and pray from it
5. Look toward tomorrow. What feelings surface as you look at your calendar?
And then say the Lord's Prayer.
As I looked to today, I wrote this in my journal: "I pray that I might savor the gift of Audrey who I love so much."
That is another one of the Ch-ch-changes in my life. Audrey and Miranda have now moved to Tuscan and are going through lots of changes. But right now Audrey is here in my home. She is leading a workshop in Louisville Saturday and preaching on Sunday. I am going with her to Louisville and helping with the workshop. Sunday afternoon I will drop her at the airport in Louisville and then come home.
Tuscan is a LOT farther away than Lynchberg and as happy as I am for her, it is hard to have her so far away. The blessing of my life is when my family is close and this is a big change. Elizabeth Lesser writes about learning to: "trust the eternal life force that is flowing within us - letting that force lead the way through all of the inevitable changes we will face across the span of our time here on Earth."
And I do trust God in the midst of all changes and know that it is good to be with Audrey right here and right now. I savor her presence - as she is one of the lively "Connor Girls" I raised, the fun aunt with her nieces and nephews, the patient "daughter" with Chuck, and the fun, smart, spiritual, very special daughter to me.
A verse for today in the lectionary speaks to me:
"Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts."
It is in prayer that I watch and wait and listen for God's peace in the midst of all the changes of life.