Sunday Morning Musings: Without a doubt this past week has been one of the most different weeks of my life. In some ways it seemed very “usual” – preparing and officiating at funerals and weddings, sermon preparation and house cleaning, laundry and even some electrical and plumbing issues finally fixed. The thing that is different in all these regular concerns is that I realized how much I have changed. Some of the change seemed overnight, yet most of the things different about me have developed over a life-time. Things that may have seemed pretty day-to-day for some people were often a big deal for me, especially when things didn’t go the way I had thought they should.
But change is good. I heard this past week that someone speaking to a group of recently graduated high schoolers said that he hoped that they would live long enough to change their minds at least twice. At first I thought he was joking but the more I listened to this speaker, I realized what he was talking about. He wasn’t just talking about our every day changes concerning fashion or food ( which can be major decisions, no doubt). Rather he was talking about those things that really make a difference not only in our own lives but in society as well.
I remember a number of years ago when my elder son was an editor of his university newspaper. (The editorial had to do with the use of standardized testing in our schools.) I read this editorial that sounded like his voice (yes, writers have their own voices), but the editorial was talking about an issue he and I had discussed many times. In the editorial he was agreeing with my stance (and for you older folk it wasn’t a matter of Father Knows Best). When I asked him about this, his response was simply: “People can change their mind.”
It is not because he was agreeing with me that meant as much as the fact that he was willing to change his way of thinking and admit it. Such changes rarely take place in the realms of politics or religion. Sadly, when a politician attaches oneself to a political party, he or she may not agree with the party but must often choose either to stay with the party line or remove oneself. Never an easy choice.
The same story is often true in the field of religion. As statistics reveal many people are turning away from “organized” religion for many reasons. One of the reasons not talked much about is that people grow and change, and part of that change is one’s way of understanding all of the factors that contribute to a wholesome body, mind and spirit. Speaking about dogma and change one writer proposed the idea that:
Dogma is worshiping our ideas of God rather than God. It means always
being willing to admit you MIGHT be wrong. It means continually rethinking
and unfortunately, never being settled or comfortable in our view of reality.
Yet even when evidence itself can and has proven long-held thinking or concepts to be untrue there are still those who do not want to change. At one time the earth was believed to be flat, and when photos from outer space show us the true shape, there are some who will not accept this changed point of view. It has been proven many times over that dinosaurs roamed the earth until 65 million years ago; yet some contend that the earth is less than 10 thousand years old (that is evolution vs creation thinking).
When we are unwilling to grow we are doomed. When we are unwilling to allow ourselves to accept new truths we are doomed.