Dancing with Change
Written by Ps Alby
If I am asked to use a word to describe the past two pandemic-driven years, I would vote for the word “Change.” Almost everything that we are so used to in every aspect of our lives had to change, and back and forth a number of times, just to cope with the changing characteristic of the virus.
But change is a difficult word to accept and even more difficult to adapt whether it is at the personal, societal or organizational level. Perhaps that is why change is one of the most important topics in every business management and leadership studies. In fact, in such studies, there are two popular sayings. Humans are resistant to change, and, the only constant is change.
I will not get into the psychology of change here as there are copious articles out there. But I will say that while change is inevitable, it does not have to be unacceptable. More importantly, we can rise on the crest of change and dance with change. That was what Daniel and his three friends did when they were forced to make The Change of their lifetime.
Daniel 1 recorded that Daniel and his three friends were exiled from Judah to Babylonia. But fortunately, or unfortunately, they were conscripted to serve the king. This would involve being groomed to fulfil the role in every area including their diet. The challenge was, the Babylonian diet was an affront to the Jews.
So, does it mean that Daniel and his friends will have to change and survive or resist change and die? But wait a minute. Does it always have to be this fatalistic? Fortunately, at least not for Daniel and friends. They did not see a one-dimensional challenge, that it was either they change or they die. Mediators call this entrenched in a position.
Daniel and friends were able to compartmentalize the challenges before them. Yes, they were made to change. But the diet issue was just one of the many issues. They were also made to change their dressing, name, or even educational and professional training. Whilst all these were for the purpose of serving the king, they also provided the opportunity to extend Yahwistic influence in the courts. They saw a higher reason behind the change.
That was why they were also able to see to the interest of the official who was to “change” them. If he fails, he might be executed. So, Daniel and friends took a step back, saw more than the diet matter to the larger interest of both theirs, the official and even the king. They did not need to do or die. They proposed an alternative. “Please test your servants for ten days…” (Dan 1:12)
God honoured their desire to honour God in honourable ways. What changes might you be facing now? How can you honour God in how you deal with those changes? On the church front, we too have changed since. The Cantonese and Mandarin services have merged since the pandemic and the English services have been “broken up.”
With the changes in safe-distancing measures, we will need to make more changes in the days to come, like the decoupling of the Cantonese and Mandarin services and perhaps shift and reorganize the English services to maximize our manpower and effectiveness. We will even need to make changes to the church building.
Let us, therefore, Zion Bishan, come together in prayer and be united by the Spirit as one body, in one heart and mind to face these challenges and changes. Let’s tackle them by the grace and wisdom of God, one at time. Indeed, we can rise with the crest and dance with change as our act of worship and praise to God.