Except for the absolutes of existence everything changes. In our times those forces shift things faster and in more complicated ways than ever before. Failure to understand the times is a fundamental error when trying to navigate that kind of change. There's a sense of anticipation when our awareness of cultural movement is keen. Change is obvious in a world like this one, unavoidable. Watching the world spin conditions us to expect change, maybe even accept it. Of course there are also the absolutes, the eternal, unchanging truths portrayed by Scripture as an "anchor for the soul". Absolutes secure us when the currents of change threaten to sweep us away. We can see change on every corner of life and perhaps even prepare for it. And, thank God for the anchors.
Resisting the inevitable, that is, change that will happen no matter what, is another slippery slope that impedes personal traction and limits progress. Let me give you an example. In the early 1990's I purchased a bumper sticker for my car that read SAVE THE MALES. It was a slogan for large numbers of Citadel graduates who preferred the all male regimen at our alma mater. For me it wasn't so much a sexist issue but more a preference for single gender education. Even today I think there are benefits to this kind of educational environment, especially in the rigid military system of The Citadel since 1842. Most alumni up to that that point agreed. They formed special interest groups that lobbied our legislators to maintain single gender education at The Citadel and many of the women-only colleges and universities in the state of South Carolina. It was strong editorial page fodder and SAVE THE MALES banners, bumper stickers, and promotional material were visible throughout our state. There was a moment, however, when most of us knew admission of women to The Citadel was inevitable. For the most part, the mild protests and complaints subsided. There was no sense in devoting our time and energy opposing something we knew was going to happen. Opposing the inevitable was a poor use of our time and resources. Just a few weeks ago I voted for Nancy Mace to be the Republican candidate for the first congressional district. She was the first female graduate of The Citadel. How the world turns.
Many changes are necessary if we are to progress in this age of equal rights, racial and gender equality, care for the poor, disadvantaged, and elderly citizens, treatment of immigrants and aliens, and many other modern day issues. To oppose the systems and laws initiated for the common good, or to fight them, is most often divisive , and a serious misuse of our time and resources. Being wise about the changes we oppose means that in many cases we can lose our influence if those changes are in fact inevitable. The mood of the nation from sea to shining sea and our absolutes should be the governing principles of where we stand on most social and cultural matters.
The wisdom to use our time and resources is a significant biblical issue. Today our national agenda is drifting decidedly to the left, a more secular, liberal, progressive direction. My personal absolutes, the truth of God, his Word, and his redemptive purpose in all things will guide my approach to change. Several Scriptures will form the basis for positions in them all---
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without
reproach, and it will be given him.
James 1: 5, ESV
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
Colossians 4: 5, ESV
Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5: 16, ESV
Truth is, some changes are inevitable, Hopefully and prayerfully, we will have the wisdom to identify the markers of those matters, and how we are to invest our resources in deciding and accepting them. It's a mild application of the life truth to choose our battles wisely. The wisdom to recognize the inevitable is a profound process in navigating change.
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