Whatever the circumstances, sings Canadian musician Big Dave McLean, in his gravelly, Louis Armstrong-ish voice, “there will always be a change.”
A friend didn’t expect her perfect grandchild to be stillborn. An acquaintance didn’t realize that following her simple biopsy procedure, she’d get a call to go directly to emergency. Yet another set of friends couldn’t have imagined they’d return from vacation to a flooded home.
Canadians couldn’t have known the chaos that would follow when blockades put a halt to certain rail transport across Canada recently. And how could any of us have predicted CoViD19 (and its sidekick of fear) would become a pandemic, bringing the entire world to a halt. Then again, how could some lottery winners have known that today they’d become immensely richer?
There will always be a change. And changes take a toll on a body. When faced with unusual circumstances, tough or otherwise, most of us hope that that once our particular bump in the road, (or steep climb or sudden dip) levels out we’ll get a lovely, long, relaxing straightaway. A place to coast. A sane spot to rest awhile, maybe a long while.
“When the house sells,” the Preacher and I tell each other, “when our move is done, then we’ll ….(you fill in the blank with almost any regular activity most settled people do…watch a movie together. Catch a burger on the fly…sleep in the same city for once…”
Until the dust settles from our village to city move, we live in “un-settlement.” Sometimes I catch myself complaining that we’ve had to set life aside while we finish the process of shifting our home from hither to yon. That after that, we’ll get back to living it.
But while driving from work the other day, I had a thought I’m positive didn’t start with me. (The Holy Spirit must grow weary of my squirming.) “Stop thinking you’ll be able to get on with life after this move is done. Don’t you realize, Kathleen, THIS IS YOUR LIFE? Grab the moments you have. Savor and cherish them, in the midst of the muddle.”
I almost had to pull over. Of course. In spite of the mess, the concerns, the extra baggage, God has given us these days. Rich in purpose. Abundant in the sweet realization of our many blessings (when I remember to count them while packing). Full of reasons to recall that when we are weak, God provides strength for today and hope for tomorrow. That this time, too, is a gift from the one from whom all life springs.
For my friend who lost her tiny grandson, the lady with cancer, the acquaintances who have lost their jobs…for all of us facing change, this mess, this clutter, this brokenness; this is life and life is a miracle. Even when living it includes chaos and brokenness, sorrow and surprise.
There will always be a change. But for Christ-followers, there’s another certainty—no matter our changes, we never face them alone.