Today is one of those days: the washing machine died, the heating and air is being gutted and replaced, and the last remnants of my son’s third birthday party are being cleaned off the floor. Standing in the middle of so much chaos, I’m reminded of a sometimes brutal truth about the human experience: everything changes.
Most of the time, I think I do fairly well with change. I’m not one of those who’s entirely content to just rest on the accomplishments of the past (if I were, this blog would have far fewer posts); instead, I’m always looking for something new to engage me, something to challenge my mind and my imagination. Discussions, articles, movies, tv shows, songs – give me something to spur me on to the next level in my thinking and understanding, and I’m usually pretty happy.
But there are those places in my life, those special people or places, that I want to stand still; like Joshua in the Old Testament I want the sun to hold its place and for time to cease its progression.
I want my kids to stay young.
I want my house to stay structurally sound and without wear.
I want my body to look and feel like it did when I was 25.
And I certainly don’t want anyone else in my family to get old and die.
It’s weird, this simultaneous embracing and rejecting of change, and it tells me that at my core I’m not quite as settled as I like to believe. I look at days like today and realize that I have a lot of growing up yet to do–and that’s okay. It has become painfully obvious to me that life is a series of never-ending changes, a march towards destiny, and either I can embrace those changes and see what they bring, or I can waste my life trying to hold on to a past that no longer exists.
You know, sort of like some politicians.
I’ll readily admit that part of my thinking on all of this has been fuelled by my preparations for a sermon I delivered at my church last night. I spent an awful lot of time in the Gospel of Mark, specifically the fourth chapter, reading about the Kingdom of God. Three different parables Jesus gives in that fourth chapter, and all three of them have to do with seeds that are planted and grow into a harvest.
Now, without torturing you with the entirety of my sermon, let me just tell you that the one thought that kept coming to mind out of the words of Jesus was this: life is growth.
And growth is change.
In order for me to grow, to become a better husband, father, friend, pastor, I have to be willing to change. To go a different direction. To let valued memories become just that: memories. I can’t call myself a member of the Kingdom of God if I’m content to sit on my butt and try and freeze time and values and culture in a place where I’m most comfortable.
Dare I say it, but I have to evolve. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
So how about you? What changes are on your horizon? What things are breathing down your neck and making you uncomfortable? Kids graduating? Daughter getting married? Job coming to and end?
If so, may I be so bold as to invite you to embrace the change willingly? Because the changes instituted in your life today are the signs of your growth tomorrow.
Such is the price of being human. And in the end, it’s not a bad price to pay.