As I write this I am in the Dominican Republic. It is not my first time here by any means but it has been about seven years since I was last here and in that seven years … things have changed. Three huge malls, a subway system and much improved roads make the old Santo Domingo I knew a hard memory to conjure up.
It is true not all things have changed. There is still a pickup truck 150 up in the air on the side of a building and chicken, rice and beans are still the normal food but the times “they are a changing”. How well the change happens will determine whether the future looks as good, or better than the present. At some point you can’t live in the past but must be able to embrace change.
I think I know part of the reason why change is such a challenge. We need constants in our lives establish our bearings and move forward with confidence. Gravity is a great constant that we don’t think about but imagine if some morning there was half the gravity we have now (super easy to move around but super difficult to land airplanes) or another day with twice as much (super difficult to move and fly airplanes).
Often we try to find our constants in the wrong things. For example; people can’t be constant because we are always changing but we often hold on to them as if they were our rocks. When those rocks crumble we do too. We establish a routine in our day but it too will change often creating great stress in our lives.
When we start to resist change and try to barricade ourselves in with the past we are building a box that only needs a lid to be our coffin. The rut is already dug and ready for the box and we have moved from living to existing.
Yes, change happens but this has been true in any generation. Sometimes historians try to paint a picture of a never changing landscape of human history with very slow modifications stretched out over eons of time. Personally I think in the few thousands of years since the Garden, things have changed rather rapidly.
There are constants that we need and can rely on but they aren’t the ones we reach for easily.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
He is a constant and as he is described in scripture written hundreds of years ago he is still constant today.
John 16: 7-11 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The Holy Spirit, like gravity, has not changed and will not until the end of all we know comes.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Our Heavenly Father will not die and leave us an orphan or decide he doesn’t want us anymore.
These constants will enable us to get and keep our bearings and confidently move into the future. Those other things we try to surround ourselves with only tend to hide the three constants that will see us through the future.