Day follows upon the night, season upon season, the naked tree is transformed into a verdant bough, the arid and parched land, scorched in the summer sun, becomes inundated in the abundant showers which follow. The long sunny days melt into the grasping hand of night. Such is the whispering voice of time sounding forth in the oracle of nature.
Let us stop for a moment and focus our attention upon the tide of relativity as we encounter it every day. The food which we eat, tempting and succulent, is crushed and chewed for assimilation by the body. The words we speak can never be repeated in an identical manner. The air is quivering with sound and light waves carrying communications of every sort. The newspaper arrives, is read, and finally finds its abode encasing the refuse. Our body cells multiply and die daily. Moments speedily pass by, never to be relived. Even the “stable” objects as e.g. a chair or the piano are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons battering one another. Every day is different even though we naively speak of the monotony and routine of life. On one day we may be vibrant, filled with zest for life, on another we may be filled with gloom and despair. Love – anger, suspicion – trust, confidence – fear, light – darkness, cradle our attitudes toward life.
Amidst this ocean of change, the question necessarily arises, what about it? How must we view this change?
This is a very fundamental question. Philosophers, dogmaticians, men of letters of every age have faced this same question. We face it as we stand before a new year.
Perhaps the most human and natural reaction is that of the skeptic. His depraved nature looks around and sees everything changing. He simply throws up his hands and declares, I don’t know, I doubt. He places a question mark behind everything. His mind simply reflects the instability round about him. Progression along the ideas of the skeptic will inevitably lead one to the threshold of agnosticism. Everything is relative, therefore I cannot know with any certainty, and uncertain knowledge is no knowledge at all. I cannot positively know anything.
Some look at the changes round about us and reason, everything changes. My body changes, all nature about me changes, laws change, attitudes of society change, even to such an extent that what is condemned today may more than likely be condoned tomorrow. They conclude that each may just as well live the way he pleases. Laws can have binding force only as long as they are approved by common consent. If common opinion changes, laws change also. Everything is relative.
What shall we say in answer? Is it true that as we are enshrouded in change and decay, nothing is abiding? Is everything in life clasped in the turmoil of change?
We know that there is an abiding surety. True, there is change, in fact very much of it. Yet in the midst of all the variations, there is the unfailing Revelation of our God. That Word is a rock, a flint, which the ravages of time can never affect. It stands secure. By prayerfully letting that Word fill our life, so that its guiding principle becomes vital to us, we will surely have a foundation that shall be secure. That Word reveals to us the unchanging God. He is eternally the same. He deals with us in our faithful Savior. He expects from us the same reverence and fear that is due unto His holy name.
As we begin this new year, may we as young people of the church of Christ focus our sights upon the lighted pathway of the Word, seek to understand it, so that we may apply it to our lives and thus experience its abiding truth in the midst of change and decay.
Originally Published in:
.,Vol. 19 No. 9 January 1960