A change is gonna come.


Since the first of the year I have encountered three different examples of the word - “change.”  One was at a recent planning meeting at my church where it was put very simply “if you are growing...you have to change.” In my job, this past week we were challenged with developing a “change of behavior” to better suit the goals of our company.  Lastly, I read an awesome blog about when the right time is to "Pivot" during business.  The “Pivot” was described as when your business is rocking along (or dragging along), and you recognize the need for change.  

Whether it’s personal, spiritual or business oriented; change is generally met with hesitation, anxiety and in some cases a very real element of fear.  Customers I meet each and every day know they have to change but simply choose not to, “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  Or when I speak to someone who knows they aren’t getting fulfilled in the church they are in I’m met with, “but we’ve always gone there.”  Even for me, I was set in my ways and was pretty much “moseying” along with life when a BIG change happened to me.  I look back and remember how painful it was, how much I hated it at the time, yet if it hadn’t been for that BIG change I would have never grown where I am, nor experienced the things I have since that change happened.  

We are blessed to be a world right now that looks a whole lot different than it did in the early and middle 1900’s.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that tomorrow is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  I obviously did not live in the time of the civil rights era.  Yet, I can appreciate King’s drive to inspire the change that was needed for that time.    

I love the quote from Martin Luther King Jr. that says, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”   

He’s right.  The change that happens may be prompted by the tangible and intangible elements around us.  Things such as death, birth, marriage, divorce, a new job or a new relationship may prompt a tangible change as it is an actual thing.  Yet the conscience Kings speaks to I feel, focuses on the intangibles such as emotion, passion, and drive.  These things prompt true change. 

Thinking of the word “Change” I reflected on the song A Change is Gonna Come. 

Sam Cooke wrote this song in the middle of the civil rights era in 1964.  According to a report, this song was inspired by Personal events in Cooke's life.  In one such event, Cooke noted one instance when he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana.  

Speaking to his own struggles as well as those around him, the song contains the words, "It's been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come." 

Although it only turned into a modest hit for Cooke compared to his other singles, "A Change Is Gonna Come" has been voted among the best songs ever released.  In 2007, the song was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress for in contribution to history. 

So what change can you bring to impact your life?  Your family? Y our community? Your State? Your nation?  Your world you live in?  To quote Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in others.”  It isn’t easy, and I can speak from experience that change has an ability to cripple you, if you let it.  Luckily for me, I had support, a great church and Julie.   

I don’t have any acronyms this week or bullet points - but I do have lyrics.  I challenge you to read the lyrics and put yourself in them.  Change is inevitable, and as the lyrics allude to, trouble may come, and trouble may be present, but a change is gonna come, oh yes, it is. 

Click to listen: A Change is Gonna Come  

I was born by the river in a little tent 
Oh and just like the river I've been running ev'r since 
It's been a long time, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will 

It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die 
'Cause I don't know what's up there, beyond the sky 
It's been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will 

I go to the movie and I go downtown 
Somebody keep tellin' me don't hang around 
It's been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will 

Then I go to my brother 
And I say brother help me please 
But he winds up knockin' me 
Back down on my knees, oh 

There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long 
But now I think I'm able to carry on 
It's been a long, a long time coming 
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will 


Russell DelkComment