Change is stressful, but God is constant

By Curtis K. Shelburne: Local Columnist

It may not be as unusual as I’d like to think, but I find myself wandering around the house befuddled and confused a lot these days.

It’s not that I can’t find the light switches and lights : The problem is that since we knocked out two walls and rewired about half of the house, it takes me a minute to figure out which light switch goes to which light. Some have been added and hardly any switch at all goes to the same fixture it once served. The changes at the house are really very good, but I still feel a bit like a blind man confidently strolling through his old familiar home only to find that some sick fiend has sneaked in and rearranged all the furniture.

When the renovation first started, I just felt displaced. Sort of homeless. The furniture and most of our meager but old and familiar worldly possessions from that end of the house went to storage.

The old couch which I loved and which my wife, well, does not love, is in storage.

The recliner which I got to spend very little time in but loved is in storage.

For several months now, we’ve been camped out on camping chairs. I’ve never been able to spend as much time in my recliner as the American Medical Association (or maybe it’s the American Psychological Association) recommends for good health, but I have found that just knowing it was there and that, theoretically at least, I could sit down in it with a cup of hot tea and a good book, was a comfort. I miss it.

Lots of changes.

I guess I was making an uneasy peace with the new arrangement, but now things are changing again. The change is good. It means we’re nearing the completion of the renovation. But I’m confused again.

About the time I got used to looking for breakfast cereal in a big box perched on top of the toilet (which my wife declared officially closed as the renovation began) in the utility room, the box vanished.

I had become accustomed to the toaster oven being on top of the washing machine and snack stuff residing on the dryer. Paper plates were in a box on the floor. Silverware was on a shelf in the utility room.

No more.

I was simply looking for a tea bag — Earl Grey, hot. I made my way to the toilet — well, to the box on the toilet where I’d come to believe that probably everybody keeps their tea bags. No. 4 son was looking for a pop tart or something. We both were paralyzed by confusion until Mom muttered, “Go to the pantry.”


“The pantry. You know, in the kitchen,” she said.

Turns out that she’d put stuff in actual drawers and shelves in the actual pantry in the actual kitchen. Wow!

Now that’s progress. It’s also change. And change, even positive change, is by definition stressful.

Thank God that his love, his presence, his acceptance and his grace never change.

Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at