Pardon me, brother, can you spare some forward motion?

I like hearing people say that change is on the horizon.

Of course it is. Change is always right there, directly in front of you. You can choose to ignore it, sure. You can wrap yourself in the lukewarm blanket of today, and you can stay right there, forever if you want. Or you can step forward, one foot always on the edge of the cliff, the steep drop into nothingness constantly to one side, and walk headlong into the change, smiling as you go.

Perhaps those people are referring to change that is outside of the boundaries of your control. Things like people leaving you (through choice or death), or jobs disappearing, or war, or famine. That kind of change is always on the horizon, too, as regular as sunrise if slightly more unpredictable. But a butterfly flaps its tissue wings in Nebraska and suddenly you’ve got the Seventh Trumpet being played somewhere in the sky, and a plague of boil-infested first born locustfrogs is falling on Egypt.

If there really is a god, you’d think he’d have given butterflies brains enough to realize how much power they have.

Or maybe god’s just a big fan of chaos theory.

Change is scary. At worst, it’s a leap (or a hard push from behind) into a dark and cold unknown. You have everything you know and are familiar with ripped away from you, and you are shoved headlong into a place where, if you’re lucky, you speak the same language as everyone else. At best, change is an opportunity to reinvent yourself, to redefine who and what you are, to shape your world in whatever way you see fit.

Very rarely in life are we faced with either extreme. Most change falls somewhere dead in the middle of this – half promise, half-scary. From there, it’s all perspective – one man’s C6 is another man’s Am7. It’s up to you to focus: look for what you gain, ignore what you lose.

Sia says, “It has to end to begin.”

Richard Bach says, “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”

Richard Bach also says, “Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.”

It’s easy and simple to give in to your fears, and it can be unreasonably hard work to focus past that to your hopes. But work, whether now or in the distant future, pays off — at least, it has in my experience.

Regardless of the “for better or worse” of it all, change is good, because it signals another step forward. Isn’t motion preferable to stagnancy? There’ll be plenty of time for staying still when you’ve no more life within you; for now, keep moving, and keep living.

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