A short while ago, my wife and I were discussing a man who had been born in 1885, graduated from college in 1909, and died in 1976. Can you imagine the number of changes he saw within his lifetime?
Born within a decade of the telephone and the widespread introduction of the light bulb, he would have lived through two World Wars, the admission of the last 12 states to the Union, the Depression, the Wright brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk, the birth of jazz and rock and roll, the assassination of two presidents (McKinley and Kennedy), the Summer of Love, the moon landing, Watergate, the invention of sliced bread, the toaster, the modern movie camera, the atom bomb, the airplane, rockets, satellites, the Soviet Union, widespread use of radio, sunglasses, a cure for polio, the microwave oven, television, mainstream automobiles, the ice cream cone, the electric refrigerator, the first personal computers, the list goes on and on. So many things that we’ve become dependent upon, things that have extended and blessed our lives. Modern conveniences and lifesaving appliances that we can’t imagine living without. It’s hard to wrap our heads around how short modern history really is. The man, in his youth, could have known people who had physically seen John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
The world certainly has changed, and rather quickly. It’s easy to get caught up in the change, but as much as we occasionally complain about changing social mores, we all have been blessed by advances in technology and convenience.
Still, change can be confusing. Difficult to adjust to. I cannot imagine how the man in question must have felt living in the late 60s and early 70s. He probably felt like a stranger in a strange land.
In the midst of such great change, it’s important to remember two things, as the times change and technology advances:
First, the sobering reminder from Solomon that “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, ESV) Even if the technology changes, sin is still sin and people are going to do the same things over and over again, regardless of their generation.
Second before us is the gracious reminder that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, ESV)
It is to this that we should always cling. In the midst of change that can be both blessing and a curse, in the midst of things as mundane as a toaster and terrifying as Tsar Bomba, we still have Christ. No matter how much the world changes, He remains the same.
Let us ever cling to Him and rejoice in Him!