Like you, I do complain a lot about having to live with change. Change is something I am always terribly aware of especially in these days of increased knowledge and technology. From the pilot’s seat, every day presents new challenges for me at The Baptist Home. At times, it is overwhelming and at other times it is very satisfying especially when it results in good.
I was fascinated by a book I recently came across at a Barnes and Noble titled, “The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It” by Dennis Merritt Jones. And, of course, I bought it…I couldn’t resist. If there was ever a book for me, other than the Bible, this was it.
I was enticed by such chapter headings as:
- Coming To the Edge of Uncertainty,
- Like It or Not, this Too Shall Pass,
- Are You Committed or Just Interested,
- The Wisdom of Knowing What and When to Let Go,
- Pay Attention to Your Intention,
- Remembering to Remember Who We Are, Where We Are, and Why We Are.
The book is not decidedly Christian, but is a collection of human wisdom about accepting change. Some may take issue with me for reading a book that can be considered worldly by many Christian circles. However, before you misjudge me, I figured that if the book had a quote from Chuck Swindoll it couldn’t be all bad. I could respond with the quote from Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It was under the subheading of chapter 5, “Attachment to Approval Stifles our Potential.”
Going back to Dr. Seuss reminded me of one of the delightful comments of a former resident when she turned 100 years old. Mrs. Day who taught me plenty about accepting change said, “Now that I am 100, I can tell people what I really think.” If you had known her, I don’t think you would have thought she had trouble telling people what she thought. Along the same lines another former resident Mrs. Allen said, “Excuse me for living, the graveyard is full.” After saying that, she would tootle and dance down the hallway in a happy-go-lucky manner.
Perhaps age does something to us after we live a lifelong experience with uncertainty. Maybe it can peel back all of the façade and the pretentiousness we acquire along the way. Just maybe, we see more authenticity in old age than we see at any other age in life. And, I think that is one of the good things about growing older as we draw nearer to God.
By the way and speaking of change, I want to thank my colleague Jim Nelson and wish him well in retirement. I am glad he will not be a stranger to The Baptist Home. After a short hiatus, he will return to us part-time. Thanks, Jim, for a job well done and thanks for making the life of uncertainty, a little more certain.