Change. I have heard it said that change is the only real constant in the world. The only thing that we can always count on is change.
In the last month I have been re-reading a book by physicist Stephen Hawking entitled A Brief History of Time, From the Big Bang to Black Holes. With a notable amount of reverence, Professor Hawking asks extraordinarily vast questions like, “When was the beginning of time?” and, “Is the universe infinite?” As I read Hawking’s book, two thoughts repeatedly crossed my mind. First, I pondered how such an incredible creation as our universe, even in what appears to be its chaos, was ordered by the Creator of all. And second, I came to appreciate the point that everything in all creation, from the minuscule sub-atomic “superstring” pulse to the black hole with such mass that even light cannot escape from it, is in a constant state of flux. Change is everywhere.
Isn’t it remarkable that despite the change that surrounds us on every side, despite the change that allows the very cells of our own bodies to keep us alive, we so often fear change? A friend here at St. Boniface recently said, “The only person who likes change is a wet baby!” And another St. Boniface friend, who had served on the Rector Search Committee, recently told me with a grin and a twinkle in her eye, “We hired you to change St. Boniface. Just don't change anything!”
Yet, while we may find some change to not be to our liking, change is a reality, and most change is in fact good. Change is not something to be feared. Rather, it is something to be embraced, for change is the mark of the Creator’s universe. The fear that stymies us, more often than not, is in truth groundless. Studies show that over ninety-five percent of our worries about the future never materialize! Perhaps Roosevelt was correct when he said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
The future is in God’s hands. It has been since the beginning of time and will be until the end. It is marked by one constant – change. A prayer from the prayer book service of Compline offers us peace in the midst of it all: “Be present, O merciful God, and protect us, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness.”
Yours, Fr. John