As we do every year, our family spent Thanksgiving in eastern Kentucky. It’s my wife’s old stomping grounds — her parents still live in the house where Kim did most of her growing up.
While we were there, we drove across town a couple of times. To get there, Kim drove us down some back roads that she has taken her entire life — roads she remembers her mom taking. So, essentially, she has gone on these winding roads her entire life.
But on one of our excursions around town, I pulled up Google on my phone and let it map out the best way to go. And, whaddyaknow, the path Kim had always taken was not the path recommended by “Cali” (the name I gave my version of Siri; don’t ask). Now, being the faithful and loyal husband that I am, I didn’t simply take Cali’s word for it. She was the new kid on the block, and she was looking to go against decades of tradition. And while both Cali & Kim are good about telling me when I am wrong, only one of these women in my life has an off switch. 🙂
But as I studied Cali’s recommended route, it did look better than the tried-and-true. And when we got home, my wife pulled up a map on the computer, and after looking at it, she too recognized: It was better. For more than four decades, my wife had been taking the same road over and over, but a new perspective helped her see: there is a better way to get where she’s going.
When I think about change, and life — and faith, and church — one thing does not change. Our goal. Our destination. Our direction. We are following Jesus, learning to be more like Jesus, on the journey to one day be with Jesus — completely and forever. This does not change.
But sometimes the path we take to become like Jesus can change. Should change. As we learn more, and learn more what matters, change is both important — and essential.
Someone has pointed out that there is an exhibit at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta that says: “We must adjust to change while holding to unchanging principles.” These words are vital for the Church. And they are vital for life — for every person on the journey of faith. For at the end of the day, what matters most is not that we do what we we’ve always done, but that we become what we are meant to become.