Opinion

Embracing the unchangeable

Over the last few months, I have had several individuals and groups ask, “what will we do if schools are closed?” or “what will YoungLife do if middle schools don't exist?”

A valid question, for sure. YoungLife in Qualicum Beach has enjoyed working, predominately, with middle school students over the last few years and we face big changes in our work when Grade 6-8 students will be split between elementary and high schools in our district.

Change happens all the time:

People grow older, move away or pass away.

It's hard to watch but we often have relationships with people and then all of a sudden we are no longer in a relationship. Just last week, I was texting a student that just moved to our district in September, to invite them to an event, and found out that they had moved from Deep Bay to Courtenay, all within a weekend. We invest time and energy in relationships and it can be challenging to always be doing this, but we were designed to be friends with others.

Organizations have to make changes in what they offer, they have changes in leadership or purpose, or they no longer have the resources to function as have done in the past.

Recently, we heard that four schools in the heart of our communities will be closed and our district will return to a K-7 and 8-12 system. There are things outside of our control in life which can be challenging to accept.

We are no longer able to do what we used to be able to.

At some point, I know I'll no longer be able to clean my own gutters or chop firewood. I'll need to ask others to help. That can be hard. I can prolong my abilities but at some point, others will do what I have always been able to do myself.

•YoungLife is close to celebrating it's 10th anniversary in Qualicum Beach...10 years of “loving kids in their world” through our school’s programs, time spent with volunteer leaders, our YoungLife club on Wednesday night and our camping programs.

As team leader, I am proud of our leadership team, our people are what makes our work with students so great.  However, our leadership team is constantly changing and, as our founder said, “The best YoungLife work is yet to be done.”

We need to embrace the challenge of change. I am excited that many local churches and organizations support our work and we are able to offer programs for students, engage in relationship with them through their schools years and beyond, as well as sharing an unchangeable truth with them.

Why am I not concerned that we will experience significant changes in our school district over the coming years? We believe that some things are unchangeable in life:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8.

Each of our volunteer leaders has a strong faith in Jesus Christ and we try to share that with all those we interact with, in our actions and in our words and through the ministry of YoungLife.

In the business world, “change management” is practised by big corporations right down to family-owned businesses. We need help when things change in our lives. Change can be difficult, it can be hard to comprehend but if you have a clear purpose and trust in something that is unchanging then I would like to suggest that change can be embraced with excitement rather than fear.

Is the centre of our life grounded in something that is unchangeable to help us through the constant change we face?

Douglas Lochhead is team leader with YoungLife in Qualicum Beach and a Firefighter with the Town of Qualicum Beach.

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