8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I’ve always known my sons are growing up in a world that’s vastly different than the one I grew up in. But I had a new realization this past week. There are huge chunks of information that are no longer relevant; they’re simply being phased out and lost into eternity.
The event that started me on this train of thought was when I asked Seth to move a recliner for me. You know that whenever you move a La-Z-Boy that all kinds of items are going to fall out underneath it. After picking up the odds and ends left behind, Seth made this statement: “There was one of those Monopoly things under your chair.”
It had been so long since we’d played a board game, I couldn’t imagine how a Monopoly piece had made its way under my chair. I looked into Seth’s hand to see what he’d found. Do you know what I saw?
I realized then how much the world had changed. Seth is a very intelligent young man, who’s well-informed about all the things that kids his age are knowledgeable of. But he and members of his generation have grown up in an age when a thimble is “a thing of the past.”
When I was a child, it was common to see a woman sewing with a thimble. I have vivid memories of my mother and my grandmother sitting at night, each using a thimble as they mended our clothes. My grandmother was particularly big on darning my socks. She slipped a light bulb inside the heel to help hold the shape as she stitched. I never really liked wearing socks that had been darned. They had scratchy places on them.
I don’t think my sons (or any of the kids their age) have ever seen anyone darn socks. In this day and time, when we get a hole in the socks at our house, we just throw them away and buy more. Socks are not expensive, and we figure that it’s a better stewardship of our time to devote it to more worthwhile tasks besides darning. Plus, it helps to prevent blisters.
But it’s not just the decline in sewing that has made the thimble nearly obsolete. I realized, too, that children from my generation heard stories that incorporated a thimble.
Tom Thumb was so tiny that he drank his milk from a thimble. Thumbelina was so tiny she could sit atop a thimble. I’m not sure kids hear as many stories like that now. People told me a lot of stories when I was a child. Children got bored just as quickly back then as they do now, but there were a lot fewer things to entertain kids with back then. Decades ago, grownups told stories to children to settle them down so they wouldn’t have to kill them. Now they just put in a DVD.
I suppose things have changed more in the last 50 years than in the 500 years that precede them. I’ve never been a huge fan of change. I was bemoaning this fact one day, and my sister, Cathie, told me that we all should really get used to change because change was the only thing that was certain in this life. I’ve thought about that a lot, and I’m sure she’s right. So I’ve tried to equip myself with a new attitude so I can take things in stride. It’s kind of like the line James Taylor sings in that song: “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”
So, while I try to celebrate the changes in this world around me, today’s Scripture lesson gives me a lot of comfort. In a world that never stays the same, there is One who is unchangeable and unchanging: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Let’s devote this week to changing the things that we can, so we’ll be ready to spend eternity with our Saviour — the One who never changes.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 20) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher is happy at the country church because change happens more slowly here than most other places.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.