For many years, I’ve driven the same winding road through the Ohio countryside to visit my mother.
One village on this route seems firmly determined not to change. Year after year, I drove by the same buildings, businesses and homes. Nobody added anything new – not even a coat of paint.
In our fast-paced culture where change occurs faster than the speed of light, it felt somewhat comforting to drive through this meager hamlet so committed to yesterday. Very few people these days appreciate heritage and historical context.
The folks in that community were committed to keeping everything the same.
But, over time, it didn’t stay the same. Their refusal to change anything brought about a different kind of change: decay.
Last fall, I drove through the village, and noticed it felt almost like a ghost town. The storefronts were boarded up. The businesses had all closed, with signs from ten years ago still plastered in the windows. The old houses sagged in disrepair. I was reminded of Bruce Barton’s observation, “When you’re through changing, you’re through.”
This community is literally dying, and unless something happens soon, will cease to exist within a few years.
This raises an important point. Change is a part of life — and life is about navigating change.
Change is necessary for life. Even our bodies are made to change. Did you know you shed 30,000 – 40,000 skin cells every hour? The old ones must go for the new ones to come in.
Yes, change is necessary, but it is also difficult. As humorist Mark Twain said, “The only one who likes change is a wet baby.”
Navigating change is hard — but it is even harder when you refuse to accept the new reality. Embracing change is the only way to grow as a person.
Remember, change is life and life is change. If we hold familiar routines and customs too tightly, we will eventually feel them slipping through our fingers.
The only thing in life that will always remain unchanged is God. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (Lamentations 3:22). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). “I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
The best way to embrace life‘s changes is to hold God’s unchanging hand and move forward with him into the future. Doing this, we choose to change by growth rather than dry rot.