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samuel-zeller-158996-unsplash.jpgOld school”.  “Back in the day”.  These are the phrases my kids use when they refer to something in the past.  On Facebook you might tag an old picture with the hashtag #throwback or “TBT” if it’s a Thursday.  And even by the time this blog post goes online there may be a whole new way of saying “way back when. . .”

With our forty-fifth (yes, that’s 45!) wedding anniversary fast approaching, I have been visited with a case of nostalgia while looking through wedding pictures and snapshots of early times together.  This picture of my husband and me toasting with our punch cups reminds me of the highly popular television show, “This Is Us”.  (And yes, David later grew a mustache to go with his mutton chop sideburns and polyester plaid pants!)IMG_4568.jpg

The thing that really struck me when looking at pictures of our wedding was the one of us in our “going away outfits”.  “Back in the day” couples changed into a whole separate ensemble for their departure from the reception. Here we are in what we thought was pretty spiffy attire at the time and I am wearing the standard “going away corsage” and holding the small bridal bouquet the florist designed for me to toss.  (My real wedding bouquet was professionally dried after the ceremony and displayed in our home, another tradition some brides chose at that time.)IMG_4567.jpg

Now couples have wedding websites, elaborate receptions that feel like a cross between a fraternity party and a lavish sit down meal and in the last decade have favored old barns and outdoor venues over churches with pews and stained glass windows.  While I love the rustic feel of many of these settings, I can’t imagine a girl from my era actually choosing to be married in a barn. It was unheard of.

A lot has changed in style, social customs, communication and technology in these past four decades. Keeping up with the latest technological advances is difficult for even the younger, more tech savvy generation.  Staying on top of what’s trending in fashion, politics and social media can be like running on a speeding treadmill. Hugh Prather said “Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” And in some regards that is true.  Every day we are bombarded with new inventions, the latest health advice, cooler gadgets and another way to get rich.

A lot has changed in style, social customs, communication and technology in these past four decades.

Even ways to care for our babies has changed.  We now put them to bed on their backs in sleep sacks on mattresses with no pillows, with sound machines in the background and a camera watching their every move.  I sometimes wonder that we were able to raise healthy children at all “back in the day”.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves residences more than eleven times in his or her lifetime.  That’s a lot of change. Of course, many of those moves are work related. And speaking of work, who would have ever thought forty years ago that many people would be working corporate jobs from their homes?  Or that there would be such a thing as job sharing or flextime? Or that conference calls and a thing called Skype would make international negotiations possible in real time without ever leaving your desk or getting on a plane?

The saying, “The only thing constant is change”, is attributed to the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus and in the natural realm it may feel this way.  But I am so comforted to know the words of Malachi 3:6 are a solid assurance in an ever changing world, “For I am the Lord, I change not.”  Somehow those words give me peace.  

Jobs change.  People change.  Circumstances change.  Our health can change. Sometimes relationships change.  This life can feel like we’re standing on shifting sand. But Hebrews 13:8 declares the good news that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever.”  As I type those words I can hear the voice of the late Billy Graham quoting that scripture in his powerful yet warm, distinctly North Carolina accent.  He quoted it often and his belief in those words must have been part of why he remained a man of strength, dignity and character all of his days.

Jobs change.  People change.  Circumstances change.  Our health can change. Sometimes relationships change.  This life can feel like we’re standing on shifting sand.

Matthew chapter 7, verses 24 to 27 tell of a WISE man who built his house upon a rock.  When the floods came, the winds blew and beat upon the house but it did not fall. The changes surrounding it did not affect its foundation.  A FOOLISH man, on the other hand, built his house upon the sand. The rain came, the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell.  Scripture says, “And great was the fall of it.”

There is one thing and one thing only that will keep us truly grounded and on which we can ALWAYS and ULTIMATELY depend.  It’s not our government, our money, our marriages or our abilities. Anything and everything I can name that is a part of my life can be taken away from me tomorrow EXCEPT for this one thing . . . my relationship with my Lord.  It is my truest treasure, my surest foundation and my most precious prize. All else can change. All else can fail. He will not.

Anything and everything I can name that is a part of my life can be taken away from me tomorrow EXCEPT for this one thing . . . 

After twenty-three years of living in the same house, we are planning to build and move into a new home this year.  I’m certain as I assess my spring and summer wardrobe I will feel the need of adding at least a few items to appear updated and current.  My doctor says that because of a high cholesterol count I may need to change my diet. Changes are constant and affect all aspects of our lives.  I am so grateful that JESUS, MY ROCK, remains my one constant in this world of change.