Why we shouldn’t be afraid of change
by Tim and Vicky Scott (revised, originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider that we should embrace change rather than being afraid of it.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Embracing Change) and the means to display them.
- You will also need the Bible passage found at Ecclesiastes 3.1–8. You may wish to arrange for a student to read this passage.
- Show Slides 1-12 one after another.
Ask the students what the theme of the slides might be. The answer is ‘change’.
Life is about change. How we deal with it is our choice.
Show Slide 13.
- Change is the process of becoming different. We use the word ‘change’ to describe various things.
– In sociology, social change may refer to changes in society, such as women being given the right to vote. In the UK, the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 gave women over 21 the right to vote.
– In politics, political change and conflict are things that we are all familiar with considering the discussions about Brexit in recent months.
– In biology, change may refer to the incredible changes that a creature such as a caterpillar undergoes when, in a process known as metamorphosis, it becomes a butterfly.
– Mathematicians, statisticians and economists study changes such as ‘percentage change’.
– Historians are interested in changing fashions, technologies and practices.
– Psychologists are interested in the process of personal change and development: the ‘life-changing experiences’ that people sometimes talk about.
Can you think of any other examples?
- For humans, change and challenge are both inevitable and vital. From the moment we were born until the present day, we have all experienced change. We will continue to experience change for the rest of our lives.
- We have a choice about how we deal with change. Are we ready for the new challenges that lie ahead for us on our journey through life? Maybe we have certain ideas about how things might be in our next year at school or when we leave school to go on to other things?
New challenges are opportunities to grow. Most of us want to improve, to better ourselves. We cannot always change our circumstances, but we can change the way that we think about change. We have the freedom to choose to change ourselves – our outlook, our thinking, our habits – to improve our circumstances. This is why it is good to be open to change and not to see it as negative.
- Building our character happens day by day as we deal with changing situations. At times, this may include painful changes like handling loss and the change that loss brings.
When we lose something that we have worked for, or a pet or someone close to us - or our health, finances or a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend deteriorate - we can make a decision to work through these things rather than trying to suppress them, which could lead to depression and anxiety. We must have time to grieve. Grief is the natural reaction to loss.
We cannot move on until we have dealt with loss, grappling with our feelings of pain and hurt. This takes time, depending on the scale of the loss that we have experienced and the support networks that we have around us to help us.
When we have been through the grieving process, we will be ready to re-engage with life and our future. There is hope of a brighter tomorrow. We know that we have grieved properly when we remember the loss without being immobilized by it.
- We can miss out on enjoying the future by clinging to the past and yearning for the ‘good old days’. The fact is, what was is no more. We can sometimes feel lost between the past that we feel that we know and the future that we don’t. We may feel like someone who is stuck in an unfamiliar place without a road map, mobile phone or GPS.
- It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when we think about the change that we are going through. Christians believe that God can ultimately transform every ending into a new beginning. However, this does not stop us having to experience pain and confusion during this in-between time.
Time for reflection
Explain that you are going to read a passage from the Bible, which is found at Ecclesiastes 3.1–8.
Ask the students to reflect upon the words as they are read. (Depending on the time available, you may prefer to omit some of the phrases.)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ask the students, ‘Have you been resisting change in your life?’
Pause to allow time for thought.
Optional: encourage the students to allow God to give them his peace and to take away the fear that they might have about their future.
Encourage the students to trust that something good will come out of the situations in which they find themselves.
Thank you for helping me at every stage of my life.
Whenever I must go through times of change,
Help me to choose to learn from the challenges that the change brings
And put my hope and trust in you for my future.
‘Everything changes’ by Take That
‘Change’ by Taylor Swift