Change is all around us.

There’s the new street lights, the new hospital, soon the new and improved Lake Redwood (and me turning 50 this year… Wait? What?)

What will be next?

Each year as I look back on my life, I see the many parts of who I have been and the changes I have gone through for what has made me...me.

When I first came to Redwood Falls, I was the “Pepsi Man” and “Theis, the baseball player”, then “Schult market development manager” and, of course, your “mayor.” These all have been major pieces in my life that required change.

Now change can be good and at times change can be bad.

For example, this year after 14 years serving the City of Redwood Falls as councilman and the last five years of that as mayor, my term had come to an end. I have to be honest when I made the decision not to run again for mayor, I felt pretty good.

Although being a leader in our community was a great honor, there was and is a lot of responsibility that comes with it. Each term, I would reflect on whether or not it was time for me to let go of that responsibility and let another come in and see what they could do.

So when Jan. 1 came around I was surprised to see I was starting to miss it. It was something I knew, and there was a comfort in that.

Change can be a bit surprising to many, and I was one of them. It was a change that left me wondering where God was leading me. Who was I now that this role had ended?

Then I remembered our own Minnesota Twins...Last year’s team had many changes. Unfortunately, those changes left us all wondering, as the team seemed to be going in the wrong direction. Because of the bad change, the team had to change again, and now look at them. They are top of their division and one of the best in the league. This change would never have happened without the first change.

I realize now that all my roles were only “what I did.” They were positions within my work or as your mayor, but they didn’t determine who I was.

What I am today and have been for many years is a Christian, a husband, a father of four and a grandfather (or papa). These are the roles that I believe are the most important.

In these roles, I have experienced many changes. This year my wife and I will be experiencing one of those “BIG” changes. With the graduation of our youngest daughter Ashley, we will become empty nesters.

Believe me, I am not sure what life will be like, but I know our children are ready. I will trust the plan that God has in store for us, because with each change I have made, that change has brought on a new experience and it has helped me grow. So when change happens be ready to experience all it has to offer.

Have a great rest of the summer and God bless.

– Corey Theis is a husband, dad, grandfather and community leader who calls Redwood Falls home.