Can You Spare Any Change?

Change is all around us this time of year. Bulbs are sprouting, politicians are spouting, and I've added a few more gray hairs to my thinning thatch. I do not always welcome change. Moving from a comfortable chair by the fire is not my first choice, unless, of course, the fire has spread into the rafters, at which point I can move as quickly as anyone.

Yet, ready or not, change marches on, and so do we. The little handheld iPod I carry around with me has 200 times more capacity than my state-of-the-art office computer had just a few years ago. It reminds me of author Andy Rooney's quip: "The fastest thing a computer does is become obsolete."

The other day I thought of what change has wrought in my life and some of the things I seldom do anymore:

Wind up a watch—everything runs by battery

Make copies with carbon paper

Use a typewriter—where have they all gone?

Roll up a car window

Take a picture with a Polaroid camera

Perform "surgery" on my automobile

Comb my hair—“short and thin" has benefits

Use a pay phone booth

Slip into 30-inch-waist jeans

Eat Nuteena—some rejoice; I mourn its passing.

As change continues its inexorable process, what will prevent our members from becoming museum relics or Polaroid Protestants? What will keep us integrated with the very world for which God commissioned us to be light and salt?

Baseball season is upon us. As I watch the infielders consistently and confidently scoop up ground balls and fire them to first base, I admire them with their smooth athleticism—light on their feet, ready to move immediately to the ball and make the play. Taking a page from the apostle Paul, perhaps there is a lesson in these athletes' willingness to respond to a challenge.

Like the children of Israel, we stand as a new generation considering the call of God. The pioneers who crossed through the Red Sea are gone. On the shores of the Jordan we ponder our path to the Promised Land. Is the God Who "changes not," requesting changes of us? Is the promise "We shall not sleep, but we shall be changed..." indeed a wake-up call for us right here, right now? Do these words echo the thoughts of a wistful God Who anxiously waits?

Positive change does not originate from those who sit on the banks of the river. It begins with those willing to step forward, take the hand of God and watch the waters part.

The fastest thing a computer does is become obsolete.

May 01, 2008 / Let's Talk