Permanent: lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.
I was born and raised toward the end of the “baby boom” generation. As a Boomer, I’ve noticed that the reality of something lasting forever is not as familiar to us as it was to those in the generations before me. While I understand that there is only One who is perfectly true and faithful, committing to something for a lifetime does not appear to have the appeal it once had.
I’ll be honest: I love change! I will rearrange rooms in my house often. If I had the time, money and energy, I would probably even move to a different home every few years.
I also like adding new people to my life as they move in, although with that change means that others are moving away.
Our community is growing and changing. It’s exciting to see the shift and the expansion.
And I thoroughly enjoy how our family is growing and changing. It’s exciting to see how different the Reeveses look in 2017 than we did in 2007 or 97 or 87.
But liking change doesn’t mean that permanence has to be a bad thing. I really do understand how something that is indefinitely unalterable can feel overwhelming to someone who enjoys the thrill of variety. And I am not suggesting that a life of static is good for anyone. I’m simply considering that we may possess misguided fear when it comes to stability and sameness. In our attempts to push back from the boring, seemingly superficial 50s era in which my parents were young adults, we may have over-corrected. Our rejection of what appeared to have been a time of prudish hypocrisy (i.e, even Hollywood appeared moral) has possibly led us into thinking that the only way to prevent such a disingenuous atmosphere is for there to be constant change.
As an observer of all things, I’ve noticed that commitment has not been given the place of high value it once had. There appears to be a resistance to steady and lasting commitments regarding jobs, marriages, parenting, sports teams, friendships, church, and even our personal goals or faith. We have overcompensated for what we thought we saw in the generation(s) before us. In an effort to move toward sensitivity and authenticity, we may have lost our footing. What was once absolute has now become obsolete to the culture, and we are afraid that giving ourselves to something so old-fashioned will possibly send us back to a time we do not want to go.
So here we are with broken homes and lives. In our nation, there are way too many children in foster care. There is nothing permanent about their lives at all. There are churches that are struggling simply because people will not commit to faithful attendance and giving and serving. Loneliness and isolation are rampant due to broken relationships. Thinking something better might come along if we wait, we have lost our courage to sign on the dotted line and commit. We often choose to “play it by ear” rather than give definitive answers like I will and I do.
Yes, change is inevitable in many ways. It can even be very good! I am all for it. But I don’t want to miss the good that also exists in permanence. Unchanging commitment to a purpose, to a plan and to people is sorely lacking. The world needs to be reminded that not everything has to contain variables.
The fruit of the Spirit consists of faithfulness. I want my life to demonstrate the beauty of the paradoxical way of living … a life committed to change and to constancy.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.