Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Only Constant Is Change

Years ago, I worked at the Internal Revenue Service Center in Fresno, CA. There I heard from several people a phrase that I have found true of life, "The only thing that doesn't change here is change." Life is one change after another, though few people recognize that or want to recognize it. When a new IPhone comes out, people want it for the new technology and capabilities, but when someone challenge them to allow their faith or their life outlook to change to also take advantage of new information, new insights, new realities - Whoa, there! Pastor, you done stop preachin' and started meddlin'! Yes, indeed, we want the latest appliances, the newest model of car, but don't you dare challenge us to move away from positions that cannot be support by anything but blind belief and emotional trauma!!

I've been a janitor, a security guard, a groundsman, a tutor, an assistant manager in a restaurant, a pastor, a laborer, a tile-layer's assistant; I've worked at grain elevators, carpet cleaning, wine-tasting rooms, probably some I've forgotten - the lesson out of these? That life has so much more than we can imagine, IF we are willing to embrace change as part of our life experience. And when we do, we find some amazing similarities to people we often look up to - for instance, the disciples of Jesus were small businessmen locked in the struggle to make enough to pay tax bills that make ours look a pittance. When they listened to the challenging insights of this itinerant preacher, they heard something that stirred their hearts and asked them for dangerous change. They embraced that and found not only fulfillment, but also rebuke when they wanted to fall back on those "traditional" values they had learned from their social circle. They learned that one has to trust the maker of life, and live life fully, engaged, empowered and compassionately - then one finds true fulfillment, though riches as the world counts them may not be part of that fulfillment.

Life is change, or you would still be that vulnerable, dependent baby that would then be undeveloped potential. You learned to crawl, then walk, then run, then ride a bike, then drive a car or perhaps a motorcycle or fly a plane - CHANGE! You learned to feed yourself, to appreciate more than mother's milk, and found favorite foods that changed through life - CHANGE! You learned to speak in words, you learned new vocabulary, you learned how to construct your communication, to write your communication - CHANGE! You found someone special in your life - family, friends, lovers, spouses - each a relationship that demanded CHANGE!

So indeed permanence is impermanent, the unchanging quality of life is change. Enjoy the variety of life, and learn to appreciate the wonder of change, even when that change is to learn that family or cultural biases are dead wrong and need to be lost! That person in front of you is another person, not a black, a wetback, a chink or nip, not a kraut or a spic, not a queer or geek - A PERSON, MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, AS CHANGEABLE AND CHANGING AS YOU, AND AS IN NEED OF REAL PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS in a life that is full of change and challenge.

Think about it! Peace!

No comments: