Friday, January 30, 2015

Tyrannies and Victories

There are many things people want to be liberated from, many kinds of tyranny from which we would like to escape, but one of the inescapable ones is the tyranny of change.  ( I didn't make up that idea.  I got it from Paul, reading the Phillips translation of Romans 8:20-21.)

Most of us are ambivalent about change.  We say, "Let's do this for a change, " or "I've simply got to have a change," and in the next breath we moan, "Oh dear, how things have changed!  They're just not the same anymore."  Lots of people do things purely for the sake of doing something different.  And of the ironies (tyrannies are full of ironies) is that things don't necessarily turn out to be all that fresh and original after all.

The ocean can teach us very many things.  Change is its essence.  It can be counted on ceaselessly to change, and this is the source of its beauty.  The waves roll in, and this is the cource of its beauty.  the waves roll in, sweep the shore, suck out and roll in again.  It does this in almost hte same way each time, but there is something endlessly fascinating in watching how it happens.  The swell and the crest, the break and the crash, the glass-green turning to milk-white, the cream, the foam, the bubbles, the think sheet that slides back so smoothly and disappears so suddenly -- who can take his eyes off it?  But each chane is in perfect harmony with the nature of the ocean.

We need not be always seeking something different, something other, out of mere restlessness.  There are enough changes we cannot stop, which are of the essence of this life and are meant to be.  They are meant to drive us to God.

The world of creation, said Paul, has, in God's purpose, been given hope. "And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God."

Twelve Baskets of Crumbs, by Elisabeth Elliot

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