Change Is…

“Man, things just aren’t what they used to be!” “Everything is so different these days!”
“Remember when we used to…I sure miss those times.” The thing about change is,
change is. Change is a fact of life. Change happens, but few of us find it easy or relish it.
We are often comfortable with the way things are or, even more accurately, with the way
things used to be. Therefore we often see change as the enemy and fight it rather than
manage it or adapt to it. As Charles Kettering wrote, “The world hates change, yet it is
the only thing that has brought progress.”

For centuries, people believed that Aristotle was right when he said that the heavier an
object, the faster it would fall to earth. Aristotle was, after all, regarded as the greatest of
all time and surely could not be wrong! So no one really challenged that belief until
nearly 2000 years after Aristotle’s death. In 1589, Galileo summoned learned professors
to the base of the leaning Tower of Pisa. He went to the top and pushed off a ten-pound
and a one-pound weight. Both landed at the same time. But the power of belief in the
familiar, conventional and comfortable wisdom was so strong that the professors denied
what they had seen. They continued to say Aristotle was right, reinforcing the
observation by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book, The Prince, that: “There is nothing more
difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to
take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

It is never an issue of if things are going to change – things will always change; it’s an
issue of determining our response to change. Will we fear it and fight it, or welcome it,
manage it and creatively adapt to it? As Giuseppe Maccini put it, “Slumber not in the
tents of your fathers. The world is advancing – advance with it.” Just one meager
example of the rapid rate of change in our world: television. In just my short lifetime, we
have gone from the introduction of the black and white TV with pre-recorded programs to
cameras mounted on computer monitors, tablets and mobile phones which enable us to
see – live – the person with whom we are communicating. We can fight or ignore this
change – and miss out on so much of the joy and potential it has brought – or we can
learn to use it in creative and wholesome ways. Why not take advantage of the
possibilities, for example, in linking up with missionaries, servicemen, or family members
in different parts of the world? That’s advancing with change!

Let us prayerfully welcome, manage, and adapt to change – make it our friend and ally.
The key is always to maintain our principle and our core values while being flexible with
our techniques and methods. Only God, after all, never changes. He is the same
yesterday, today, and forever. That means His character and His heart never waver; but
how He works through and among His people and in His world is always changing. One
of author Henry Blackaby’s most quoted statements is, “God is always at work, and our
job is to find out what’s He’s up to and join Him.” That is the best approach to change I
know. Keep close to Christ and we will not only ride the winds of change – we will create
the changes!

Until next month …unless, of course, things change!

Rev. Curry Pikkaart, Classis Leader