This Christmas I’m giving my husband a pair of convertible hiking pants. Up to this point he’s had to decide between his hiking shorts or jeans before setting out on his hike. With these nifty pants he doesn’t have to decide. He can start his hike early in the morning wearing comfortable, breathable long pants and transition to shorts with just a few zip zips when it gets warmer. Then, when the sun begins to sink behind the mountains, he can slip the bottom half of his pants legs back on and voila! He’s warm again. Lucky him!
I like the comfort and versatility of convertible hiking pants because they help you adapt to the climate as you travel the trail. Adaptability is a good thing, huh? We all have to adapt to new technology, different surroundings, new or changed people, cultural shifts, and new challenges almost daily.
Still, I don’t always adapt to changes all that well. I bet some of you don’t either, huh? I like to think that I’m always up for an adventure, something new. But the truth is, change sometimes causes me to tremble in my boots.
I don’t like moving, but I’ve had to move to a different city and/or state six times since my early twenties. Each move has been a mixed bag of blessings and difficulties. I enjoyed the newness, the adventure, the meeting of new people, and the fresh start. But I loathed losing the old and familiar, packing up my home, saying goodbye to dear friends, and the work of beginning again.
With each move God has been good, however, to patiently help me adapt to the new and let go of the old. With the ease of zipping off a pant leg, He has shown me how to walk new and unfamiliar paths with the reassurance that “this too will soon be home.” I may not be very “convertible,” but He certainly is. He’s all about moving on and progressing forward.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” I can almost hear the sound of those zippers as I read that. Sounds like He’s telling us to put our convertible pants on and get moving. There are a few changes down the trail, but they’re for our good, and we can handle them with His help. But if we spend all our time focusing on the past it’ll be that much harder to embrace and enjoy the new; we may even miss it altogether. Kind of like getting our zipper stuck.
Are you going through a change of some sort today? Whether you’re one of those folks who easily adapts to the new or are more hesitant like myself, I encourage you to take these scriptures to heart today. Like a pair of convertible pants, they’ve certainly served me well when I needed to adapt to some new surroundings.
I’m still adjusting to this college mom phase of life and every time I have to put my mom on the airplane (like I do today) I have to adapt all over again to living 2,000 miles from my parents. So I’m right there with you—suddenly in a place where the old doesn’t fit anymore, but the new isn’t comfortable yet either.
I know change is tough, sometimes plain out unwelcomed. But we can do this thing. We’ve got more than convertible pants to help us adapt. We have a God who’s up to something new and He’s patient enough to walk us through it one step at a time. Zip, zip.