By Richard Pelfrey
There’s this old Eastern Maxim: “you can never step in the same river twice”. It’s always changing, constantly in a state of movement; it is never the same thing from one moment to the next.
Like this river, every living thing in the universe is in perpetual flux. And so, we are never the same person from moment to moment; we are always changing, growing older, evolving. Essentially, you will never meet the same Richard P. twice.
This concept of impermanence was an important and life-altering realization for me. Nothing stays the same. In the words of the poet Yeats “Things fall apart; the centre can not hold”.
Everyone we know one day will die…It’s important to know that nothing lasts in this world. It helps me to take advantage of things, enjoy them while they’re here.
But is there something at our core that remains static? Our soul? Does it change? Or does it stay the same as it passes through a bodily life, like on a little vacation. I believe the only thing in all of existence that remains unchanged for all of infinite time is God, and if so our unchanging soul is actually a piece of God planted in us. He says it Himself in Luke 17:21: “the kingdom of Heaven is within you”. He has gifted us this ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, as the Poet Allen Ginsberg calls it.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”, we’re told in the Book of Hebrews. He does not change. He does not evolve, adapt, or reform himself according to our human intellectual development. God is Holy, set apart from us in His perfection and completeness, and as such nothing we do or believe can ever change His being. His precepts, teachings, laws, and qualities are the same today as they were at the beginning of time and will be the same forever and ever.
Jesus is immutable. He does not grow old, He does not die (well, not permanently anyways). He is our eternal rock in a life full of swirling rapids. An anchor amidst the turbulent impermanence of our days here on Earth. Like a beacon we can choose to fix our sights on down here so as to not lose our way. He is (among other attributes) unchanging and unconditional love. All the stress, trouble and temptation in life comes and goes, and we choose how we will react to it.
If we build a foundation on the permanent solid rock of Christ, we are able to weather all storms. Our feet are kept on solid ground as the world swirls on around us. We always experience the same God, and everyone always will until the end of time. The only thing that changes is us. He is the way the truth and the life, holy holy holy from everlasting to everlasting. It’s up to us to build on the truth or on the shifting sands of self-will and convenience. I choose to grab onto some permanence, to have stability of spirit and the promise of eternal life.