Saturday, 2 July 2011

Constant Change

Change happens. We can't stop it. In fact, whoever it was that said "change is the only constant" first really knew what they were talking about.

But do things change?

Life moves on at an ever increasing pace, yet on a global scale nothing changes really. A Roman historian I remember studying 20 years or more ago in school lamented the breakdown of the family unit, the lack of respect children showed to their parents and the growing problems teachers faced with disruption and bad manners in the average classroom - 2000 years ago!

Even in our lives we have change that merely makes us more the same than we are different.

We diet to lose weight, yet the more we change our eating patterns, the more that final pound needs to be attacked. We go to work to make more money to buy the new things we "need" to survive, only to find they are obsolete, but just a little more and we can get the latest version, wich will then be obsolete.

I recently found myself in the detestable position of having to get a new cell phone. I'd rather have to find a new kidney. I liked my old phone. I knew how to work it, it didn't use a lot of airtime to receive email and check the odd website online. But it was 3 years old, so the manufacturer has stopped producing the software updates it needs to function and now it is a paperweight.

And so I find myself back at the store being confused by the promises of wonder and hope that each new model brings. I finally pick one, a Nokia - perhaps a bit big, but it comes with the software and hardware I prefer to use (a qwerty keyboard instead of a touchscreen). I tell the assistant my choice and he tells me it's not available on my package. The ones I really like are all not available on my package.

The worst thing in the world to me is to be shown something, convinced it is what I need and have always wanted by the sales department, and then told I can't have it - or that there's a hefty pay-in you don't know about until you sign the paperwork.

So now I sit with my new phone beside me. It's not one I wanted - in fact I distinctly and expressly stated I did NOT want this phone. Repeatedly. But it was what I could afford, and actually now I'm using it I find it is quite a good machine - and even is saving me money because I was able to get everything I need on a cheaper package!

Life sure can be complicated. I look back at this little event playing out over the last couple of weeks and remember 3 years ago I went through much the same before I got the much lamented and very deceased paperweight I mentioned. It happens to be one of those things that doesn't change.

We resist change, but it is forced on us sometimes. But change defines who we are - how we handle the changes in our lives demonstrates to us and the world at large who we are and what we stand for.

Recently we underwent some major changes because of ill health in my family. We will have to make more as a result in a few weeks time. Yet the changes only make us more the same where it matters. On the surface much changes. Jobs come and go, houses rise and fall. Even friendships are transient. I have only occasional contact now with some of the people a few years ago I believed would be major players in my life for ever - even people I have lived with and my own family have drifted away from me as a result of changes, yet at my core I remain the same.

I am, in essence, a fallen man, redeemed by the Grace and Mercy of God through His sacrifice on the Cross, who has been raised to Son-ship and is a joint-heir with Christ in the Kingdom. No matter what cellphone I carry, what job I do or what happens to my family's physical health THAT will never change.

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