Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And We Want Things to Stay the Same

Just in case you haven't heard this yet, this link will take you to a news story that speaks of the earthquake in Japan as having such an impact in its redistribution of land mass that speed of the earth's spin has actually been increased.  Of course, that is the invisible side of change that is also devastating Japan, washing bodies all over the shore, leaving people without food, water or shelter and exposing them to radiation.  

And yet I often hear, "We've got to stop all the changes!"

How?  How can we ever stop all the changes? I know I'm specifically thinking of the church here and the one or two persons who will say to me "Lots of people have talked with me and they are all upset with you over all the changes!"

My response:  their argument is with God, not with me.  Yes, I bring changes, but that's because I'm a living being, just as the earth is a living entity, and living beings and living entities by necessity change and bring change to everything they impact.  These people who don't want change also bring their own changes--but those very changes are far less often acknowledged or recognized for the blessings/problems (depending upon a person's point of view, of course) they may cause.

Many of us, especially as we get older, have some memory of a "perfect moment" in the past, where every single thing was exactly as we may have wanted it.  By the way, I think this "memory" is what drives the ridiculous push to these outrageously lavish and expensive weddings that have spawned the bridezilla movement, but that is another story.  Anyway, those "perfect moments" are often remembered very differently by others and, I do believe, never actually existed.  Certainly, there are moments of luminescence that transform ordinary reality.  I've been privileged to experience a few of those. However, they can't be repeated, choreographed or forced.  That's part of their power.

But, back to the present. Within all of us is both the longing for some stability AND the need for change and variety and growth. No one wants the endless winter.  Even perfect spring days will eventually wear on us for we need to move to summer and harvest; we need life and death, the breath in and the breath out.

I also don't want to excuse change for change's sake, or something done just to keep people off balance. That, in my opinion, is unhealthily manipulative change, and does not unite people.

However, I do say this: to keep fighting to keep things the way they were, when the present is not evil or bad just somewhat less desired for ourselves or our cherished routines, may also eliminate the possibility of the Spirit of God entering in and working out soul transformation.

Just my thoughts while still in the first week of Lent, and while pondering the unfolding tragedy in Japan. What can we learn from this?

1 comment:

Angie Hammond said...

Hey Christy, Just a thought on your musings for the day about change. I've recently experienced a change. I have had to purchase a new car because my old one was totaled in an accident. Not my fault or what I wanted, but it happened. As it turns out, the change I'd been thinking about making took place but not as I had planned.

In your post you speak of those of us wanting stability etc. As I thought about it, I realized that God has given us the one thing that will never change and that is his love for us. Too bad that we often don't see this because we refuse to see the blessings among the hardships of life. In looking at my car issue, yes I was looking at trading in the old car and purchasing a new one. I hadn't picked a time, but I was moving toward it. The accident happened and now I have to do it now. The funny thing in all of it, I actually got more for the total loss of the car than I would have gotten trading it in.
A blessing in a way if you look at it. Of course I was injured but not so seriously that I had to be in the hospital for days.

Of course this Japan thing is devastating and many lives will never be the same. But I heard on the news today as one older Japanese woman said. The soul of the people will live on.

As for the routines and the changes that you are talking about in the church and life in general. I understand how difficult changes can be for people. They are frightening to many, because they are the unknown. It is not so much the change that is the problem, it is more about taking away what is known and replacing it with an unknown.

Speaking from the standpoint of a teacher of at risk youth. Changes even when good and necessary create fear and anxiety. Just the simple act of a teacher being out of the classroom for a day is upsetting to them. This is because the thing they need most is for something to be stable in their lives. We as teachers should be that point of contact that says I am here and I will be here for you each day when you walk in the room.

That is the message I think you are trying to get across as we go through the days of Lent. Jesus was in the desert alone for 40 days we are told. But what we need to realize is that he was not alone, he had God with him. He knew that his father was with him no matter what changes were going to come to him.

As for the world changing, from the moment sin entered the world it has been in a process of being redeemed by God. This process means change so that we can once again be holy. That is how I understand it.
We are forever changing, but the one who loves us never changes.

As for Japan, you ask what can we learn from this. I think we can as christian people offer to the Japanese people our help and our love and support during their time of crisis. How we respond to their needs both physical and emotional can indeed change the world or at least a small part of it.

In spite of the devastation, I'm certain that God will use it in a way that will glorify his name while continuing to redeem this earth and his people.