New Year’s Thoughts About Change

The switch to the New Year never failed to annoy my mother.  She hated the changes,  — new calendars needed on the walls, a new year to record on your checks, start-over IRS file box, as church organist, new liturgical cycles for the new church year (which began in December), etc.  Change! Happens whether you like it or not!

Many intelligent people have defined “life’ as “change,” and we readily see those changes.  Yet, we must approach change with caution, remembering that change has many degrees (a little bit, a good bit, a lot), that change is often not permanent, that change is so gradual you don’t often notice it, that reactions to change are both positive and negative, and that change is fickle.

Perhaps “fickle” is not the best word choice for my point, but look at hair styles, for example.  Or men’s trousers, belts, neckties.  When you live as long as I have, you see styles return after a. few decades, and then return again and again.

Shoes seem to be particularly fickle.  In the 1200’s in England, men’s shoe toes were pointed, became more pointed by the 1300’s, so long and pointed by the end of the Century the toes curled up at the end.  Then bang, the Renaissance, and very blunt toed shoes.  Extremes get so extreme that folks eventually react against the trend and reverse it.

“Change” is almost an understatement when you look at the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.  Czar Nicholas had implemented the policy of outlawing Serfdom in Russia, but that was apparently not enough change for the Bolsheviks, as the Revolution occurred.  It seems to me the Bolsheviks were anarchists who sought chaos, disorder and destruction.

Not all change is good; not all change is bad; but change is inevitable.  Change to be good for our own personal use and for our nation’s well-being, we must let God lead us.

Ray Spitzenberger is a retired WCJC teacher, a retired LCMS pastor, and author of three books, It Must Be the Noodles, Open Prairies, and Tanka Schoen.

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