“I wish I had more control of my life,” my friend said. “I feel so anxious. I make decisions constantly in my life, but I have no idea how they will turn out. I wish I could see the future. Life feels so…risky.”
My friend was facing a “pivot point” in life. She was just offered her dream job. She would need to move to a new city. But on the same day, she got a call from her mother telling her she had been diagnosed with a challenging health condition. She was in a tough bind.
Each of us faces pivot points that change everything suddenly in our lives. Simple phrases redefine our whole reality.
“We are engaged. “
“It’s a girl.”
“You got the job.”
“I want a divorce.”
“I love you.”
We can look back on our lives and see moments where our decisions set us on certain paths that determine the conditions for the next set of decisions. Some of our choices bring us regret and some great joy. All of them teach us.
I understand my friend’s yearning for some predictability in life, some assurance that the pivot points lead to happiness rather than regret. So much of our lives are changing right now. That has always been true, but the safety nets that we use to protect us from the impacts of change are crumbling around us – job security, housing security, health security, family security.
Life does indeed feel risky. It’s why I’m grateful to be a person of faith.
Romans 14:8 says, “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.” No matter what the “pivot” brings, we are not alone. We are not abandoned. We should not be afraid.
Good theology is rooted in the conviction that, on the whole, all things are at work for our well-being. Of course, that does not mean that bad things don’t happen. But I believe that the long arc of the universe bends towards love, justice, healing, and peace. That impulse is built into the very source code of life. While bad things may happen, I trust that the flow of life is ultimately working for the common good.
Pivot points are part of life. They are the moments that define us, strengthen us, change us. Perhaps we should welcome that.
Futurist and author Octavia Butler reminds us in The Parable of the Sower, “All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change.”
Embrace the pivot – God will meet you there.
We are in this together,