Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Truth About Change

AN ENCOURAGING WORD for January 5, 2006 - written by Dr. Thomas Lane Butts, Pastor Emeritus, Monroeville First United Methodist Church

Something That Doesn't Change

Beginning a new year causes thoughtful people to reflect on the past and scan the horizon of the future in search of something stable – even permanent. Believing that we will find something more dependable in the future than we have known in the past represents the triumph of hope over experience. But, as the poet hath said: "Hope springs eternal." Thank God!

Legend has it that author, Lloyd C. Douglas, used to visit an old man who gave violin lessons because the teacher had a kind of homey wisdom which refreshed him. One dreary morning Douglas walked in and said: "Well, what’s the good news today?" Without a word the old man put his violin down and walked over to a tuning fork suspended from a cord and struck it a smart blow. As the sound resonated in the room, he said to Douglas: "That, my friend, is the good news for today. It is the musical note ‘A’. It was ‘A’ all day yesterday. It will still be ‘A’ next week and for 1000 years."

In a world of continuous change, it feels good to find something that is dependable and permanent. You do not have to be very old to be able to look back down the road from which you came and find once meaningful relationships which are now broken or gone. There are people who once touched our lives with grace who are no longer in sight. We know from experience that many of the people who grace our lives today will not be there tomorrow or next year. They will go away or we will go away, or life will change in such ways as to make it impossible for them to give us forever what they can give us today.

We all remember friends from the past who have been lost to all sorts of distance; and we remember some who just disappear slowly and we don’t know why. We wonder if it was something we carelessly said or did without knowing what we were doing at the time. Garrison Keillor, in his book, Lake Wobegon Days," struggled with this issue as he asked some anonymous friend who had dropped out of sight: "Why don’t I see you anymore? Did I disappoint you? Did you call one night to say you were in trouble and hear a tone in my voice which made you say you were just fine?"

There is so much in and about life that forces us to come to terms with temporariness, and yet deep in our souls we have a penchant for something permanent. What can we count on for stability in a world where nothing seems to stay the same? Everything and everybody keeps changing, and we do too.

The truth is there is nothing permanent, not in this world, except the intangible. Everything you can see or touch is subject to the maddening law of change. But, there is an encouraging word. Though you cannot see or touch them, these things never change: faith, hope, love, and the musical note of "A". If you are sick and tired of the stress of change, find people who put a premium on these four intangibles. You will be glad you did.


Epicuros said...

Μαριαλένα, τι ήταν αυτό που σου έκανε εντύπωση σ' αυτό το κείμενο; Ρωτώ γιατί εμένα δεν με εντυπωσίασε. 'Ολα αυτά που γράφει δεν είναι πρωτότυπα ούτα άγνωστα. Τώρα, αυτά τα τέσσερα που λέει ότι είναι σταθερά και αμετάβλητα, δεν θα συμφωνήσω μαζί του παρά μόνο για το ένα. Το διαπασών, κι αυτό μόνο εάν δεν του κόψει κάποιος ένα κομμάτι από τα σκέλη του ή αν δεν το βάλεις σε διαφορετική θερμοκρασία όπότε θα υπάρξει επιμήκυνση ή συρρίκνωση των σκελών του (και μπορεί να βγάλει διαφορετικό ύψος τόνου)! 'Οσο για τα άλλα, ούτε η αγάπη ούτε η πίστη ούτε η ελπίδα είναι αιώνια και αμετάβλητα. Σκέψου και θα δεις γιατί. Και την ελπίδα μπορείς να χάσεις και την αγάπη να χάσεις και όσο για την πίστη, εγώ δεν "δικαιούμαι δια να ομιλώ" για τυγχάνω άπιστος :-)

Marialena said...

Epicure, όντως το κείμενο αυτό δεν διεκδικεί δάφνες πρωτοτυπίας στη θεματολογία του, αλλά όμως ο τρόπος που ο συγγραφέας αναφέρεται στις ανθρώπινες αυτές αλήθειες είναι για μένα επικοινωνιακός και θεωρώ ότι αξίζει να το διαβάσουν & άλλοι άνθρωποι σαν υπόμνηση. Οι τέσσερις παράγοντες δεν είναι άκαμπτοι, είναι όμως πανανθρώπινοι & πιστεύω πως εκεί πέφτει το βάρος. Το πως τους αντιλαμβάνεται ο καθένας μας είναι ζήτημα οπτικής.

orlando said...

Μαριαλενάκο θα στη σπάσω, αλλά το τρίπτυχο "Αγάπη Πίστη Ελπίδα" που επικαλείται ο ιεροκήρυκας,έρχεται από πρόσωπα! Ηταν οι τρείς κόρες της Αγίας Σοφίας και εκτελέστηκαν μαζί της στους διωγμούς. Ετσι "ενώθηκαν" και εννοιολογικά στα Χριστιανικά κείμενα :)

Marialena said...

Ορλάνδε μου, δεν μου τι σπας καθόλου! Καλά κάνεις & το αναφέρεις γιατί τον ξέχασα αυτόν τον συσχετισμό προς στιγμήν! Είδες τι κάνουν τα παρατηρητικά μάτια & μυαλά? Thank youuuuuu! M.