Categories: Wednesday ripples 2 Comments

The Times Are A-Changing

The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, believed that “Everything changes, nothing stands still,” or, as he put it more poetically, “You cannot step into the same river twice.”   We know this truth in our daily lives, perhaps especially in these times when the speed of technological change makes our heads spin. We watch the flow of seasons; the growth and aging of our bodies; the shift in our beliefs and opinions.  We acknowledge this reality at significant turning points in our lives, and often create special rituals to highlight such moments – coming of age; the beginning of menstruation; getting your driver’s license; graduation; marriage; birthdays and anniversaries; death.  

There are times when as a community we celebrate change.  Witness all that happens at New Year’s Eve – a party, yes, but more importantly, an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been, recalling highlights and struggles; and then, to imagine the new year that will unfold, dreaming of new possibilities, making various resolutions.

We, the congregation of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church, have less than a month to go before we enter a time of change, as we leave our building so that much-needed restoration and repair work can happen and head off for new adventures next door at the hotel, First Baptist, and St. Paul’s Anglican.  

The minister and leadership consultant John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable; growth is optional.”  Growth requires a conscious awareness of the changes that are happening, combined with a willingness and a determination to shift behaviour, to adapt, to learn new ways of … well … new ways of worshipping, working, loving, forgiving, playing, celebrating….  

We’re now in the second week of 2019…and perhaps your New Year’s Resolutions are already toast.  But maybe not. Maybe we need to remember that every day is a new opportunity to grow, for although the past shapes our present possibilities, novelty and dreams have the power to bring about a different future.    Maybe we need to remember that God is always inviting us into “metanoia” – turning our lives around and walking in a new direction. Maybe we need to remember that the Spirit is eager to transform us, rebirth us. Maybe we need to keep repeating the words of the St. Paul, as he praises The Holy One, “who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine….” (Ephesians 3:20)

Try to imagine yourself as the speaker of the following poem by Lucille Clifton… and insert your own age in lines 11 and 12:


i am running into the new year

and the old years blow back
like a wind
that i catch in my hair
like strong fingers like
all my old promises and
it will be hard to let go
of what I said to myself
about myself
when i was sixteen
and twentysix and thirtysix
even thirtysix but
i am running into a new year
and i beg what i love and
i leave to forgive me




Comments (2)

  1. Thanks Gary.I had a conversation at church about the move,and how it will work. Your writing shows how it works .

  2. Thank you for this message- lots to consider, and always grateful for a poem to contemplate!

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