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The More Things Change

Tonight, as I walked out of my grandparents’ rural farmhouse about 20 miles west of San Antonio to put stuff in the car, I turned on my new high-powered LED flashlight to look for deer in the field below the house. As I panned it around, over by the far end of the house I saw two varmints—they were large and gray, with long pointy, but hairy tails. I was stumped as to what they could be. I went in and asked my folks and grandma about it. They were almost as stumped as I, but someone tentatively ventured ‘porcupine.’ I went back out and got close enough to verify that in fact, it was a porcupine. But not too close.

Turns out these critters are relatively new to this part of Texas, and were migrating in. This was my first chance to see a real live one, up close and personal. Interesting creatures. But what is even more interesting to me is how there is always something new. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that there is “nothing new under the sun,” and, of course, he is right. Porcupines have been around for a LONG time under the sun.

Yet, at the Vibrant Dance Symposium, we talked about how there are all of these fundamental constants in the universe and how fine tuned they are, but one of the key fundamental constants was never mentioned in the cosmological talks—change. There is always something new to experience in God’s creation. Weather patterns vary, habitat zones shrink and enlarge, never before catalogued species are ‘discovered.’ The life cycle of a lifeform or society is a constant process of change over time. We construct ‘rules’ to explain phenomena, but over time have to keep revising them as either our understanding improves or things actually change.

There is one more thing that is constantly new, yet never changing. Thomas Obadiah Chisholm wrote of it in the classic hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness:”

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

In verse one, God is unchanging. In verse 2, His mercies are new every morning. Who else but God can make the oxymoron “unchanging variety” a sensible and wonderful reality?


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