Remember that old song by Keane,
You say you wander your own land
But when I think about it I don’t see how you can
You’re aching, you’re breaking and I can see the pain in your eyes
Says everybody’s changing and I don’t know why
Sometimes it is a friend, other times it is a foe. But it is always inevitable. It always happens, and you can’t avoid it. Even if you live in the same house with the same friends, and have the same career for 40 years, eventually you’ll still look in the mirror and see a change in your face and in your body. ‘The smooth skin is not so smooth anymore and the youthful glow, has faded. And these wrinkles, where did they come from?’
In so many ways, change will come. The changes we choose and the changes we have little to no control over. The changes around us and the changes inside of us. The changes through us and the changes to us. The instance and entrance of sudden change and the act of becoming different which comes about slowly and over time.
Sometimes it comes at you with a dosage too high and causes much pain. Change over time can be a bit nicer, easier to handle. It can be like medicine or like poison. Aging is like medicine in your teens, but poison in your 40’s. There is change for the better or change for the worse.
Sometimes you yearn for change as you would a friend and it doesn’t come. The stages of life you see happen around you, wedding invitation after wedding invitation comes to you, but as the years go by you still don’t have one of your own to send. When you want to have children, but you fear you’ll never be the one with a baby of your own.
I watched Little Women recently during a sister sleepover. Something I noticed was Jo’s resistance to this force. She didn’t want Laurie to go off to college and change. He came back and was the same Laurie that put on plays in the loft and laughs with her uncontrollably. Though she won it that time, she wasn’t always the victor over it. When she told Laurie she couldn’t marry him her excuse wasn’t that she didn’t love him, but that, “It would change. We couldn’t go on being this way if we were married. We would fight all the time if I was your wife.” So she goes off to New York City and she falls in love with a professor. Her friendship with Laurie will never be the same; he marries her sister Amy, and Beth dies. It seemed she couldn’t control change. It won.
It must be faced. Can the inevitable force be be to us a friend, causing me to flow again into a discovery of rhythm? When the dosage is wrong, too heavy, too strong, can it be at least accepted, as a means to survive? It can certainly reveal something to us about the eternity written on our hearts. The roots grasping from the edges of our mortal heart towards the edges of our eternal home.
When you wish for change, or when it comes as a foe and strikes you, either way you’re still left to deal, and the quest for constancy continues.
When you find yourself singing, everybody’s changing and you don’t know why, When you wander your land but you don’t know how you can,’cus your aching and breaking and there’s pain in your eyes, that’s when you sit down wondering,
Being one who is accustomed to transition of place, and moving often, I’ve had my share of change. Times when I was forced to move, times I chose to pack up and the time when it was just my only option. The nomadic road as a way of escape leads you back to the same old pitfalls. You still travel with the same heart, and the crisis of that heart will always return. When it resurfaces, it’s always a harder slap in the face then if you would have faced yourself and faced your problems.
In the midst of transition I have found though, that much is revealed about who I am. At first there is the isolation that takes place from being removed from what you know, while the people behind go on as usual. Then there is the discovery of something great. It is an anchor, that is there, hidden inside you. The anchor that was there before you even recognized Him. The Hope that is in me, that has been as constant as the stars are old, is forming me and holding me together. Somehow I found a rock beneath the shifting sands.
Oh to bear the fruit inside of patience, and to realize that change causes us to become more of who God created us to be, people that bear the fruit of His Spirit. Often drastic changes outside of us, causes opportunity for increased growth inside of us, of our selves being developed in the midst of transition and of our wills being conformed to our Father in Heaven’s will.
And they remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer.
The people of Israel also knew what it was like to wander, and they knew what it was like to grow old wandering. The Psalms record songs of exile, of war, and of victory in the bleakest of circumstances. The key to victory was not their own sanity and ability, but that they were being pursued by the King who had made an everlasting covenant with them.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
From the highest heights there is a steady rock that can be called upon from the valleys, and from the shadows, from the shifting sands. There is a rock that is more stable than our circumstance, more sure than ourselves.
When change reaches peaks of not only ourselves being shaken and things being removed around us, but when the Earth shakes, when the Earth is in uproar, will we have something to hold on to? Someone steadfast, a Rock that is higher?
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.