I’m a Colorado native and have been a Bronco fan for as long as I can remember. I remember the two Super Bowls that the Broncos won while I was in High School. I remember where the parties were held, the food, the beverages, the people, and the fun and excitement. This year though I was devastated when Shanahan was fired…then Cutler wanted out. I didn’t know what to think or how to respond! I went through shock…bewilderment…denial…and then hatred. I knew that I didn’t like a young guy coming in from one of the most hated teams, I thought at his age, all he knows how to do is take a picture of Pat’s pretty boy Brady. I thought about switching teams and becoming a Chicago Bears fan, jokingly but with a hint of some seriousness. Today as I was driving on our way to dinner, I thought, “What am I doing? Why am I being so hard on the new coach?” As I began to probe my feelings toward McDaniels I realized why I was feeling the way I did. It was because as humans we have this inherit problem with change and more specifically change in leadership. But like the jingle of change in our pockets, or those red kettles you see every holiday season, change in real life and in leadership is always inevitable. The coins in your pocket provide the clinking that signals change is coming. For me two years ago around this time, I was laid up in bed on some serious medications trying to alleviate a herniated disc. It was around this time that I got to meet my new leader. I went with an open mind and went on so many paid medications that I was sweating bullets! But I had other things like surgery on my mind, so after the picnic I went home and rested. What transpired in the next year was an emotional rollercoaster. Leadership transition, fear of abandonment, layoffs, worry, survival tactics, depression, and the fear of the unknown described my thoughts and feelings during that time. I still pray that no organization has to experience everything that we went through as a church. Moral failure at the top leadership level, then a shooting, all still seems somewhat surreal to me, but all I can say is, “We will overcome.” I confess that I ashamedly, and as hard as I tried not to, judged my new leader. He talked different, dressed different, came from a different corporate culture, and surprise surprise…thought different too! I heard the clinking of change in my pocket and it was deafening. However, lots has changed. Brady led us through the night and into the morning. I had to remind myself that the only constant at New Life is change. In incalculable ways Brady Boyd was an answer to prayer. Early on, he was everything that I needed, but nothing that I wanted, but isn't that what change always is? Sometimes change is hard, but then you begin to realize how much of a blessing that change really is. Slowly as I began to warm up to the change that was happening all around me, all of a sudden my heart, view, and outlook on things started to change…if you will. I took off my judgmental glasses and realized how happy that I was. It took about a year for me to fully embrace the change in my pocket. But I realized, how much that change...changed me. I started to care about things that I never did and now I'm better for it. I’ve taken that change and instead of throwing it away, I’ve invested in it! I’m happy to say that I’m now an avid coin collector. But how did I start coin collecting? Five things: 1) I focused on the job that I had to do; 2) I did things that I loved and focused on the things that made me feel purposeful; 3) when I agreed, I agreed; when I disagreed, I kept my mouth shut; 4) when the opportunity arose, I provided as little commentary as possible and in place of commentary listened to what was being said; 5) relationships are a two way street and everyone has to give and take a little. Simple as picking up a coin off of the street!
So this Sunday, I think I’ll dust off my Broncos gear that has been sitting in my closet for nine months. I’ll remind myself that change may not necessarily be what I want…but everything that I need. I’ll remind myself how grateful I am for my new leader and the place that I work, a place where I live and love life! This Sunday, I’ll remind myself of my two loves, and be a fan of both!