Everything Changes

I tried playing a video game on my son's game console the other day.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to turn it on and then another fifteen minutes to learn how to find the game I wanted to play. 

And then, I needed help figuring out how to properly play the game because the controller was complicated.  Only there was no help to be found, and I wasn't about to admit to my kid I needed it, anyway. 

I used to teach my kids how to play video games, use a computer and operate their cell phones.  Now, they have to show me how and are far less gracious than I was to them.  

And by less gracious, I mean they make fun of me for being old.  

Everything changes. 

I heard that phrase in a song today while I was working, and a random playlist was playing on my computer.  I tried to find the song again later but couldn't. 

Which felt like an illustration of the meaning of the song's refrain. 

As a young pastor, I wondered why it was so hard to effect change in the Church.  Every new initiative I introduced in the churches I served seemed to be met with resistance from gatekeepers. 

When confronted with some new idea, program, or change in the worship bulletin, the gatekeepers would rally their forces, and write passionate letters to the elders of the church, show up at my office angry, send me awful emails that impugned my character, and a host of other pleasant things. 

Luckily, I was too naive and stubborn to give up---most of the time.  But it did eventually make me think twice before I tried anything new.  

Over the years, I grew to understand those gatekeepers, though.  I realized that in a world constantly shifting under their feet, their church was one place they felt they could keep the same. 

The problem is, as I stated earlier... Everything changes... even the church.  Which is as it should be, but embracing this way of thinking is also challenging.  

How do we learn to embrace change in life and faith?  How do we keep ourselves from becoming rigid, stuck, and unable to move?  Where do we find the courage to embrace the changes we face?

It comes from the freedom that can come when we realize that there is an eternal rhythm embedded in all of Creation--a rhythm of change, of dying and rising. 

And when we begin to live fully in this rhythm, we realize that there is a time for everything---a time to live and a time to die, a time to change, a time to be reborn into something new. 

I recently read this line from Helen Keller that spoke to me: 

To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable. 

I love the last two words of that line: strength undefeatable.  The kind of strength that we gain when we learn to live more nimbly in life, to embrace change when it comes to letting go of what was to embrace what will be, can't be beaten.  

May you discover this undefeatable strength in your life and time.  May you lie more fully into the eternal rhythms with joy and freedom.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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