Facing change, which “is the nursery of music, joy, life, and eternity”

26 Feb

Mark Twain was both wise and observant…and was “right on” when he said that “the only person who likes change is a wet baby.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick laid it out plainly for us to see and comprehend: “Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.

We might also add: and embrace it!

Change is one of the most threatening things many of us face in life and yet we encounter it every day. The universe itself is changing. Scientists tell us that all ob­served systems are continually changing from order to disor­der, and that every transformation of energy is accompanied by a loss in the availability of energy for future use. In other words, our universe is running down.

Besides that, the world we live in is changing. Highly so­phisticated technical developments have radically altered our lifestyle, and now they threaten our very existence. Ideologi­cal developments have changed the balance of world power and threaten our freedom as a nation. Governments are toppled and new ones established overnight, and sometimes it seems as though revolutions are as common as eating and sleeping. Every day the news reports focus on some new changes occurring in our world.

People change. One day we may be in a good mood, the next day in an ugly mood. And it is disconcerting if we never know what to expect from our wives, our husbands, our parents, or our bosses. Nice people sometimes get irritable and touchy. Fortunately, grouchy people sometimes get nicer.

But we all change. That is the nature of creature hood, and that is the nature of life. We find it unpleasant and intimidating at times. We would rather keep things the way they always were because the old and the familiar are more secure and comfortable, like an old shoe. But shoes wear out and need to be replaced, as does most everything else in life. So we struggle to adjust to change.

We grow and we strive to better ourselves, and that is change. Sometimes our sense of well‑being collapses around us; we lose our health, our loved ones, our money, or our material possessions, and that is change. Our bodies begin to wear out; we can no longer do the things we used to do, and that is change. It is all unsettling and unnerving, but it is inevitable. What can we do about it? Is there anything unchanging that we can hold on to in a world where everything is so tenuous and transitory?

We live in a time of unprecedented discoveries, many of which tend to make life longer and living more comfortable and enjoyable. But with change and progress the inexorable law of change and decay also operates. Strange that so few in this world prepare for the inevitable. [2]

The past, present, and potential difficulties of the future find their ‘rest’ when we realize that if we are to better the future we must disturb the present. [3]


[1] John Donne (1572–1631)

[2] L. Nelson Bell.  Christianity Today, Vol. 1, reprinted Vol. 40, no. 10.

[3] Catherine Booth in The Life of Catherine Booth (Vol. 2); Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 6.

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Posted by on February 26, 2018 in Encouragement


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