Thursday, August 20, 2009

Forced Change? - Black

You never really know what you’ve got till it’s gone, we say. This echoes Joni Mitchell’s cute an’ sassy song classic. Bemoaning commercial and financial change at the expense of nature, she sings, "They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot ..."
It’s also true that we don’t know how blessed we are until we see someone worse off than ourselves. Such sentiments may be cliché, but are also true. Dark-bodied, malnourished children with bloated stomachs, as featured on sponsorship programs, scoop a drink from larvae-infested mudholes, and we think that it’s such a pity they don’t have running water. And it is. Then click, we switch the channel.
At the old manse we were without hot running water for five days, then, for a day and a half, the main water supply was shut off. A mild inconvenience. We were not in any dire emergency, and had water available to us. It just took a little thought and effort. Neither did we have to rub sticks together or strike a match to heat up water or cook. Saucepans on the electric stove did the trick. We learned to conserve water, though, and managed to do all that was necessary using a fraction of the normal water volume.
Change is sometimes forced on us unexpectedly by circumstance, yet some changes can be made in advance, if we see the need. Jesus said (in Matthew 18:3): "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
This is a call to humility, dependence, and trust in the Lord God. A change of focus leading to a change of disposition, of lifestyle – and destiny.

© Peter A. Black. This piece was first published in the The Watford Guide-Advocate, a Southwestern community newspaper, July 30, 2009.
Peter's children's / family book, "Parables from the Pond" ("written for children, read and enjoyed by all ages") is published by Word Alive Press. He can be contacted at and

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