There are a lot of changes going on around us right now. Some of the people who have lived here for quite a while — ones that I’ve enjoyed getting to know — are preparing to make their homes in other places. We are also expecting a new business to arrive and a couple current businesses to move locations. We are also going to have a new residential area over by the football stadium.
This coming week our class of high school seniors will walk wearing caps and gowns across a stage to receive their diplomas. This of course brings with it a significant change in the lives of the students and their parents. In our house, we will be saying goodbye to a 3-year-old and welcoming a 4-year-old as our son celebrates his birthday.
For many people change is something hard to adapt to. It brings with it new problems or challenges that we are unaccustomed to facing. Recently I was at conference in which the speaker asked us to look at our lives and think about what our lives would be like in one year, three years, and five years if nothing were to change in them. I have to admit that it wasn’t a pretty picture for most of us because the ruts that we are in now would only grow deeper. This was true relationally, professionally, and personally.
This is true for our town as well. We can make no changes, or embrace none of the changes for the next one, three, or five years and see where we end up. Or we can face these coming changes with optimism; knowing that Marion is a place where people live, play, work, and retire well. I think these changes will be ones we can grow from and look to the future ahead of us with confidence.
I will be sad to see families move that have contributed so much to this community over the years, but it will be wise of us to send them off well celebrating the future that lies ahead of them. I am excited to see Family Dollar come to town, and I will be intentional of making sure that dollars that can be spent in Marion will be spent in Marion. I will celebrate with the seniors as they embrace their future, but I will also be hopeful that, in four years, there will be jobs in Marion for the ones who are graduating from college to come back to professionally. One change that I hope to see in the near future, both for Dr. Hodson and for our community, is that we hire another doctor to serve the people here. What a blessing that would be for so many people!
Because people are constantly changing, communities are constantly changing. Let us embrace the changes as they develop and look toward the future of our community with optimism and joy for the coming years.