Change and decay in all around I see,
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I often think of those lines in the classic hymn Abide With Me when I go through change. As a matter of fact, my sister-in-law needlepointed the lyrics from the entire hymn on to a wall hanging with a North Branch looking church steeple in the background. It’s framed and hangs above our television so that we can look at it often.
Change and decay in all around I see. You may feel as destabilized by much change as I feel. Our moorings get lost. We can’t tell if we’re going north or south. To change the metaphor, we don’t know where change’s sweeping wave will eventually wash us ashore.
And the older we get the more that change feels like decay. At 48 I am surprised to find myself a little more skeptical about new things and fonder of the old. Not only that, I become more and more convinced that the new is throwing the baby out with the bathwater! Some of that may be true; a lot of it may simply be the difference between 28, 38, and 48.
O Thou who changest not, abide with me. The greatest stabilizing factor in a world that changes at increasing speed is the abiding presence of the Changeless One. Someone said to me recently, why does the church need to change at all?! Can’t anything stay the same? Yes, God stays the same. While the church may need to change her methods to stay relevant to the culture in order to remain vital, our LORD never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
So the trick in change management is twofold:
- acknowledge the disorientation that you feel; and
- find your security in the Changeless One.
I pray that for you and I as we go through the changes in life.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Todd Buurstra