Thursday, September 26, 2013

Change and Constancy

After our last visits, our dentist announced via a letter that he was retiring soon because of medical reasons. He sent a list of other dentists whom he recommended. We hope he has a wonderful retirement and many years to enjoy it!

Finding a good dentist can be difficult. By "good" I mean someone who is good at what he does (are there many women dentists?) and who also has a good personality. A positive office staff is helpful, too. Going to the dentist is, after all, not something to which most of us look forward, and if you have dental insurance, you have those struggles to negotiate, too. I recall a dentist whom I had in childhood, who was kind of grouchy! Not a good bedside manner (or chair-side manner, I guess), especially for a little kid.

Finding a good church can also be difficult. It can be like pulling teeth (ha ha). Whenever we move to a new community, we visit churches and look for that indefinable "something"that indicates we've found a home, so to speak. But even when you've found that home, things change. If the pastor announces he or she is leaving, you perhaps have a sense of dread what the new person will be like. We love our current church and appreciate the gifts and graces of both our previous and current pastors.

I feel a little impatient sometimes when folks say, "Oh, God is unchanging." Though theologically correct, it's kind of a pious cliche, like "God never gives you more than you can handle," etc. It's better to specify the things about which God is unchanging: God's lovingkindness for us, God's concern when we struggle, God's compassion when we call upon God in penitence and regret and distress, God's eagerness to comfort us when we're sorrowful, God's guidance and providence when we're moving into different circumstances. Our experience and understanding of God does change, because we're growing and face new life situations wherein we learn anew about God's faithfulness or have more questions than ever about God. But God is always close by.

God is not going to retire, and God isn't going to recommend alternative deities who may meet our future needs. We are faithful to God, and God is with us always!

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