Change is the only real constant in this world. Cliched, but true.
After the Resurrection change was pretty much a constant for the disciples. They went out from Jerusalem into the Roman Empire and beyond.
But we try to keep everything the same. Change makes us uncomfortable in general. We’ve been taught to like certainty, predictability and sameness. Probably because God is – by the World’s standards – unpredictable and dangerous.
John Eldridge shows in “Wild at Heart” that Man was made for adventure, created in God’s image we are adventurous, impulsive and dangerous creatures. The Lion of Judah is no household pet, and the same should be able to be said of the cubs.
We need change to grow. A body of water with no change becomes stagnant. The only physical condition with no change is death. Why would we want to emulate that in life?
But we strive for predicatability. A paycheck on 25th of the month. Like the typical Hobbits in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, we keep things as they are, maintaining the status quo and waiting for death before we say “it’s so short” and realise what we missed. “All men die, Dougal. But not all truly Live” says William Wallace in Braveheart before routing the English troops.
The stories we love are filled with change, either metaphor or true. In the Lord of the Rings movies I was disappointed by the ending. The creators missed the point of Tolkein’s masterpiece by having the young hobbits return to an unchanged Shire. In the books, the fact that they were now battle-hardened was critical as it allowed them to save the Shire.
We have to be aware of the danger of stagnation in our walk with God. He calls us to be tried and tested for battle – ready for the fight at any time the Enemy brings it to us. He’s already bought the Victory for us, but we still need to fight some battles. We can fight, and in that fight we may be wounded, but the Victory is assured. We only need to remember we fight from the victory, rather than towards it. If we become stationary we lose the certainty that comes with knowledge of Christ. Many denominations began with good intentions then as they grew they lost sight of their founding principles, stagnating and forgetting as their size increased that they were part of God’s Church, not all of it.
It’s no different for us as individuals. We are either growing and changing, or stagnating and dying. There are no half measures, and no space for it is made in Jesus’ teachings. The Gospels show Him encouraging all He came to to grow in their knowledge of God and His love for us.