“The times, they are a’changin …”

I have always been a sensitive and somewhat sentimental person. They say that natural tendencies become more pronounced with age. I wonder if that’s what’s going on with me.

Tonight I feel thoughtful, and yes, sentimental. I am happy/sad because the sands of life are shifting yet again and “the times, they are a’changin’ … ”

These last few days have been an emotional ride of reflections about life, changes, growing up and growing old, the past and what is yet to come.

When I was young, I thought as many young people do. I believed that the season I was in would last forever. Time seemed long. I remember my own school days when I could hardly wait for the arrival of summer holidays. It was a wondrous feeling at the end of June to see two whole months of vacation stretching out on the horizon before me. It seemed endless …

I remember wondering when my kids were babies, if I would always be a sleep-deprived mom forever changing diapers and wiping spit-up off my shirts. That season passed.

When they were a little older I recall the incessant questions, endless lessons on sharing, and demonstrations of saying sorry and asking forgiveness. Training for life was a constant and daily activity. That season passed.

In the teen-age years there were late nights of waiting to hear the car pull safely into the driveway, discussions on dating, part-time jobs, prayers about future direction. There were many musical moments involving recorders, acoustic guitars, electric guitars and basses, and drums. The house was a hive of hustle and bustle, friends and animated arguments. That season passed.

Now all those days are gone. My nest is almost empty. The house is very quiet most days.  It is a bittersweet time. I know now that the seasons of life do not last forever. I see the changing scenes of life with more clarity.  I am reminded that only God is forever.

This weekend has been full to overflowing: Easter observances with fellow believers, special meals and visits with family, the engagement of our only daughter to the love of her life, meeting and holding my 1 month old great-nephew for the first time, saying goodbye to my nephew who is heading off for 3 months overseas to learn Russian and travel with a friend, celebrating our daughter’s birthday today and my hubby’s birthday tomorrow.

Tonight my heart is full. I am so blessed … but still, there’s a little tug. What now?

The gifts are unwrapped, the celebrations are over, the guests have gone home and the mess is cleaned up. It’s getting late; I am tired. The future seems in flux. The winds of change are blowing … again.

At the end of the day, when I’m alone with my memories and my thoughts, I realize again that the only thing about this life that doesn’t change is change itself. Some changes are good and welcome and occasions for much rejoicing; others unfortunately, are not.

But in the midst of it all I remind myself that Jesus is my Rock. He is the still point in this turning world, and only in Him do all things hold together. This is my comfort. This is my hope. This is my peace.

One of my favorite hymns puts it this way:

“Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
The praises of my God shall still
My heart and tongue employ.”   (Words: Nahum Tate (1653-1715) and Nicholas Brady (1659-1726).

At the end of the day when all I have left is Jesus, I find that He is all I need.

The times may be a’changin’, but Jesus never does.



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