Along Life's Road

The changing scenes of life

I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound everywhere, and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. – Philippians 4:12

November 26, 1962 was a propitious and fortuitous day. It was the day of jubilation for women of all colors, shape, sizes, single, married, divorced, religious beliefs, born without and within marriage. It was a new day, a day when women went to the polls as voters for the very first time in the history of our nation! Pride, decency, dignity, decorum, graciousness and gratefulness were the constant companions of every woman. How the bold five of the suffrage movement were cheered for their vision and achievement!

It was 1982 that I met Elaine Dickson. She had written a book, “Say Yes, Say No To Change”. Change is ever-present whether we like it or not and many have been the changes in our lives as women over the 59 years thus far. We have accomplished much and the women of this nation are to be congratulated for their labor of love for children, home and nation.

Here is what my friend Elaine had to say about change: “Life is a mix of the old and the new, the stable and the dynamic, the changing and the changeless. The changes we experience are sometimes pluses – a new hobby, a promotion, Christian conversion. At other times, the minus sign dominates – a hurricane destroys a house, illness takes a life, a wife divorces her husband, a boss fires an employee, a once functional skill becomes obsolete because of new technology.”

Think about some of the major changes which have taken place in your own life during the past year. Choose from the following list as a starter and add to it: moved to a new location, became a Christian, lost someone in death, a new baby arrived, learned a new skill, lost valued property through fire or theft, joined a new organization, lost a job, changed churches, last child left home, retired from a job, made new friends, gained or lost weight, started family worship, changed financial status, changed sleeping patterns, changed health condition.

Change has always been a natural part of human growth, firmly established in the life cycle which begins before birth and ends at death. The expectation of growing and changing is built into basic life processes. As we move through ages and stages of life, we constantly move toward something new, fulfilling God’s blueprint for human life. Life is a process of becoming, and becoming requires change.

Changing as a baby to become a person who not only gestures and gurgles but also crawls, walks and falls, activating a wider use of the senses.

Changing as a child to become a person capable of exercising choice and will.

Changing as an adolescent to become a person who experiences a more complete sense of autonomy, identity and unique worth.

Changing as an adult to become a person capable of joining life with another person to reproduce life and joining life with others to create new quality of life for humankind.

Changing throughout the life span in our awareness of and response to God the source of life.

Changes in our lives brought about by positive growth add to our resources for living. We develop stronger bodies, minds and spirits. We increase our knowledge and skill. We broaden our experience and increase our capacity to deal with life.

Change is not a new demand on the human race. What is different in this era of history is the rate of change. We are both privileged and burdened to live in a world that is undergoing major upheavals of change so sweeping, they are difficult to comprehend and assimilate. Never in history has our world undergone such far-reaching, all-embracing change. The increasing rate of change has both affirmed our capacity for changing and left us with tough questions about how much and what kind of change is desirable. In spite of, many kinds of change will enrich and strengthen us rather than weaken and destroy us.

Paul, in his letter to the Church at Philippi, is encouraging the congregation that there must be visible change in their lives through the Gospel of Christ. He speaks out of his personal experiences of what a major role change has been in his life. He has experienced highs and lows, plenty and scarcity, but the joy of all these experiences, sorrow or joy, is the assurance that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me”.

The changing scenes of life certainly does not call for complaints, echoes of doom and gloom, sighs of hopelessness, but a clarion call to arise and face the challenges of each new day, for with Christ in the vessel, we can smile at the storm!

• E-mail, Write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s Blessings! 

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