The World is Changing – What Anchors Your Soul?

The World is Changing

By: Susan Deborah Schiller     In the series, "Passion for God"

The world is changing. The wind is blowing and the waves are rising higher and higher. What anchors your soul? Faith? Art? Science? What you've always believed to be true?

Recently I watched the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The story centers on a small Jewish town in Russia where the peasants live in poverty, finding stability and hope in their ancient religious traditions. It is a patriarchal society where the women have fewer choices than the men. As the main character, Tevye, explains, everyone: man, woman, and child, know their place in society. There is no room for diversity, because they fear difference will shake their foundations and what little stability they enjoy would shatter their society.

Thus, they have no interest in the outside world. Nevertheless, the world comes barging in with pogroms, ultimately ejecting them out of their own homes, farms, and businesses. They lose everything and it shakes them to the core.

When we refuse to change, inside our own soul, individually and collectively, it may take a powerful external force to push us out of our lethargy. That force may be evil, but God uses it for good, as we see as the movie progresses.

Tevye: A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!


Tevye: Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof! –

I, too, used to live in a very small and sheltered world – a closed system, in fact. Church kept me busy 7-days a week, and that is where I found my position, recognition, and acceptance. If I wasn't at home, I was at church. We all were. Church 3 days a week plus extra meetings guaranteed our lives revolved around the man in the pulpit.

We always knew our place in the community. We even took "spiritual gifts" classes to point us to where we belonged: children's ministry, music ministry, teaching, custodial, etc. But what happens if you color outside the lines? Or, God forbid, you become friends with someone who's faith tradition is different? 

Suddenly you become "dangerous" and your friends are warned to stay away from you. It's as if you dropped off the face of the planet!

You still live in the same community and , you desire to remain friends, but once you walk out the church door it's as if you're invisible. When friends see you in the grocery store, they turn their backs. If you meet by chance at a local restaurant they pretend not to see you.

It reminds me of the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," when Tevye's and Golde's Jewish daughter marries a Gentile, and her parents disown her.

Golde: Tevye! Tevye!

Tevye: What is it?

Golde: It's Chava. She left home this morning, with Fyedka.

Tevye: What?

Golde: I've looked everywhere for her. I even went to the priest. He told me they were married.

Tevye: Married?

Golde: Yes.

Tevye: Well… Go home, Golde. We have other children at home. You have work to do, I have work to do, go home.

Golde: [anguished] But Chaveleh!

Tevye: Chava is dead to us! We'll forget her.


Tevye: Go home. Go home, Golde.

[Golde walks away, crying]


"The world is changing," is the recurring theme in Fiddler on the Roof, and it is today, too. As religious foundations shake, it seems we cling even harder to the remaining walls we've created to separate good from evil.

Tevye clung to his traditions, distrusting and blaming God for problems in his life, while believing his Jewish traditions would hold his family together. Are Christians today different? As I listen to the stories of hundreds of survivors of spiritual and domestic abuse, I see clearly we are no different. I have been one who was ejected out of her home, losing everything. I know the shunning and exile treatment well. I would like to propose a new way to look at the shaking that is happening.

What if we could all meet at the intersection of faith, art, and science?

I believe the artists, musicians, scientists, and writers are creating a better world for all of us to inhabit. Before we can embrace change we must see it.  Art impacts our hearts, where we see by faith. Perhaps in the shaking, we can meet each other at the intersection and shape the new world with our love and acceptance. 

I once saw this in a dream. I was at church, as normal. An earthquake shook the building to its foundation, catapulting church members right out the door! As I observed, I saw a small group of believers in the front, their backs to the shaking, their eyes lifted to heaven. It was time to worship and they were so focused on Heaven that the Peace of Heaven enveloped their souls. They could not be shaken. I joined them, and as I did, the ground beneath my feet quit shaking and I stabilized myself from the inside out. A few others began to join us, but most people remained shaking until they were ejected out.

The anchor for my own soul is Peace. Peace comes from embracing truth and choosing love. It results in a love of righteousness and justice. It makes you unshakeable, because God's Throne is founded on righteousness and justice. It makes us vibrate at His frequency, so the shaking feels peaceful to us. We are not moved.

Truth and love unite us, not doctrine.

What if there is a way to enter the no-fear zone? I believe it exists at the intersection of art, faith, and science… at the peaceful place around the Throne of God.

In the meantime, if your world is shaking, cross over by choosing love, embracing truth, and be willing to let the shaking reveal anywhere in your heart fear still resides… because love and fear cannot co-exist, just as day and night cannot happen at once.

It's a New Day! Arise and shine! His glory is filling the earth. Peace and Goodwill to men on earth!

Side note: As for me, although I originally published this months ago, and I still need to walk this out. It takes practice to live in an abuse-free zone – and to create such a place on earth. What do you think?

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With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2014 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce December 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm

That peace that passes all understanding is remarkable.  We can look at the storms and earthquakes around us and it is as if they are outsde and we are immune to their powwer.  The great power of God sustains us.  What a joy to have a few others to stand with us in worship while the world crumbles around us.  It is when it crumbles that we realize how unimporrtant it really is — the worth and value is in those that stand with us.  Standing with you today, my friend.


Susan Schiller December 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

“The great power of God sustains us.” Yes…. true words… and the shaking is so unimportant compared to our love for one another. I stand with you, as well, my dear friend!


Nita October 6, 2014 at 5:22 am

"'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. "  It is our home, such a simple statement and yet so true. That's why people rebuild and stay in towns and communities that have been torn apart by flood, fire, tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes. But, each shakeup also brings change, you're right, the art, science and faith(religion) is what helps rebuild the communities, not into what they were, but what they can be.



Susan Schiller October 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

The last part of your statement is especially powerful, Nita – to “rebuild the communities, not into what they were, but what they can be.” That’s what I’m passionate about. I appreciate your comment – thank you!


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