Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Change - Necessary Word/MANN

Change is inevitable! Isn’t that what life teaches us? People say, “Better get used to it; it isn’t going to go away.” I suppose the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. Somehow, that doesn’t help. In terms of our faith, we state that God’s love is unchangeable. This one truth remains consistent. In a world of changing economics, attitudes, moral, ethics and aging, it’s a relief to acknowledge that God’s love remains firm, true and faithful.
Faithful – that’s an interesting word. We use it often and sometimes without much thought. Yet, to be truly faithful is to remains dedicated and timeless in our response. 
Recently I pulled a manuscript up on my monitor that I hadn’t worked on for a while. As I read, I realized I would have to revise it a lot because of new perspectives I had on the topic. I asked a small-membership church consultant to review it for it’s relevancy to today’s church. He immediately requested that I clearly define the meaning of the word, faithful. “What do you mean? That word means different things to different people in the small church.” Good point, but somehow I didn’t want to hear it. I guess I like to think everybody uses the same dictionary.
However, I admit to people using words and phrases in conversation when I wonder about the logical meaning and I might say the same thing as the consultant, “Can you unpack that  word for me.” Or “What does that mean to you?” And when I do, some look at me and stumble with another phrase or word that invites me to say, “Can you say a little bit more about that?”  
Cracking open the word faithful caused me to query, ‘faithful to what, to whom? and why?’ To respond is of utmost importance to know to whom, to what, and why we are committed and then decide how to honour our loyalty. This leaves me to think, I cannot make a faithful decision with only self in mind. I have to identify who else is at the table—another unchangeable principle in life. 
However, having said that, I admit one’s own perspective and culture determines the definition of this word in relationships, agreements, legal arrangements and vocabulary.

The latter caught my attention when a friend of mine recently passed back to me a letter I’d written to her in the 80’s. As I read it, I thought, “Yes, these are my experiences, but it’s not my vocabulary and not my expression of faith.” It caused me to pause, acknowledge and appreciate the expressed experiences in a new way, knowing I would use different religious language to interpret them now—perhaps another unchangeable principle.
So, Faithful Choices: A discussion book for small-membership churches is back in the land of the living, facing a big revision. Now I just have to get my mind around the necessary changes and acknowledge that they are for the best. That too is an inevitable change and yes, maybe another unchangeable principle.
Watch for Faithful Choices: A discussion book for small-membership churches     


Peter Black said...

Donna, thank you for sharing your insights, as gleaned from your experience.
Hmm, you bring out so well, in your manuscript review account, the challenge to remain faithful amidst change and to ask ourselves what that even means.
Thanks for the challenge to aspire to the wisdom that comes through the experience of living consistently amidst change. ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

Thanks for your comments, Peter. A good revision on a manuscript often opens up a perspective that I would have ordinarily overlooked. Although I don't like revisions because of the time element, I sure like the results. And blessings to you as you in the midst of change, as well.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Donna.
In sunshine or shadow, fair days and rain, our Heavenly Father's love and mercy constant remain. :)

Popular Posts