Generally speaking, as a human race, we hate change. We want everything to stay the same, provided of course that what ever it is that stays is how we like it. Many of the arguments on the Brexit side of the E question are borne out of a desire for the UK (and in reality we are probably talking about England) stem from a rose-tinted view of just how great this country was and how it could be again, if only we could put everything back to how it was, when, if only…. Many of the arguments on the Remain side of the E question are borne out of a desire to stay as we have been for the last 40 years. That time spent in the big E has brought stability, peace and easy travel between Member States. If only we could keep things just as they have been then this will guarantee our safety, security and well-being, if only….
Here are two metaphors. The first is apparently easy to grasp: only fossils don’t change. Yet we let this simple fact slip by us. Nothing ever stays the same unless it is dead!
The second is what happens when change happens.
An internal combustion engine only moves a vehicle forward through a series of small explosions. That is how engines work!
In order to have movement you have to have those explosions. Unless of course you are preventing that free movement by pulling hard on the hand brake.
We can apply these simple images of the fossil and the car engine (with or without the hand brake being applied) to change in all its forms. Whether a change that affects the whole country (and actually by implication the world) or change in our personal lives. Change in our family, job, relationships, finances are only ever acceptable to us if we have brought them about. Otherwise, change is an imposition, a disruption to the smooth running of our lives. Actually, we want the car to run smoothly without thought of those little explosions in the engine making it happen.
We are like this with church too. Ask any regular church-goer and they will either tell you they like it just how it is thank-you-very-much or they will say it’s not like it used to be and I want that back thank-you-very-much.
In church families, just as in any other sort of family, including country families, change is necessary to discovering together, growing together, living together, loving together. Fossils don’t grow, fossils don’t learn new things, fossils don’t live together, love each other. Because they are dead.