“Things change, you can try to slow it down, but you can’t,
Because this crazy world only spins one way,
I swear the only thing that always stays the same is things change.”
This song, “Things Change,” was performed by Carly Pearce during my first experience at the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee. I sat in my spot on the pews, like everyone else, but it was like my heart was being poured out in the words of this song, filling the Opry, from the floor to the ceiling, in many ears and out others. I was captivated by every word and didn’t want the song to end, as images flashed through my mind of home.
I long for a past awareness… a past awareness that cannot actually be brought about to any situation, except that of the present. The only way to attain this awareness is to practice it in the present, the here & now… to put away my smart phone, block out all stressing thoughts of what I have to do tomorrow, and just be… soaking up the sights, sounds, and smells of right now… etching every detail of the present onto my heart and hippocampus.
I long to be in the sweet memories of yesteryear, when my hair was blond, I had two eyes instead of four, and the world was a little less backwards. I long to experience what it feels like to have a family that is glued together. I long to look to my left and see my sister next to me, in the truck with the windows rolled down, and my dad next to her, in the driver’s seat, wind blowing through one window and out the other. I long for the identity of a daughter who doesn’t have to worry about rejection from her parents.
I never realized that those times were only for a season. Had I been given a warning that those time would end, I would’ve responded in disbelief. That version of my world was secure.
Had I known, I would’ve memorized the laugh lines around Daddy’s eyes so as to remember him genuinely happy. I would’ve studied the view of our front yard from my bedroom window, taking in the serenity of the quiet woods and pastures surrounding us, watching the occasional bunny hop out from the edge of the yard and darting back into the brush. I would’ve filled my lungs to the brim with the aroma of the cinnamon rolls Daddy made on Sunday mornings. I would’ve stored in my memory bank the sound of the track-hoe and back-hoe he used to make a living.
Oftentimes, it is difficult for our finite minds to comprehend purpose and embrace gratitude in the midst of what appears to be pointless pain and strife. God gives us this gem of assurance to hold onto in Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP):
“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven.”
In the quiet moments of morning, before the wheels of my car take me to my job and the wheels of my mind take me in a thousand different directions, I choose intentional gratitude. God has called me to such a time as now. I cannot receive the grace and gifts God wants to give to me today, if I am holding on to what seems lacking in my yesterdays.
*Please check out this beautiful live performance by Carly Pearce of the song, “Things Change”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDXDNa8bVPI