Patterns of Life

HOPE AMIDS CHANGE

On a recent visit to Melbourne, I was amazed to see the changes that had taken place since last visiting the city. Driving in on the Tullamarine freeway parts of the freeway are now operating with its extra lanes. Other sections of the freeway are still under construction with signs announcing: “New city link under construction.”

On Collins Street the old Rialto building has the front covered over with scaffolding with renovations and refurbishment underway.  Further up at 447 Collins Street, the old National Mutual Life Assurance building site, which has been vacant for several years as the developers have been waiting for planning permission for a new building. It now looks like it is happening, there are four large cranes erected ready for construction to take place.

Going further along Collins Street, several other buildings are being redeveloped. Then at Flinders Street station, it is all wrapped up with some kind of material and scaffolding with signs indicating the station buildings are undergoing redevelopment.

So much change that is taking place that for the casual visitor to the city it can be disturbing when looking for familiar landmarks that have either gone or are no longer recognisable.

Closer to home, many students have been studying for and sitting HSC examinations in preparation for high education and or employment. Both will mean significant change in their lives. It will mean exposure to many new ideas and influences not encountered before.

The big question we all have to face is when what has been the norm and the familiar in our life is disturbed, how can we cope, is there any hope for the future without the familiar that makes us feel comfortable?

This has been an age-old problem and one that Jesus had to deal with his disciples. He had told them many times what had become a familiar way of life for them, would soon change because the time for him to leave them was close at hand. They would be on their own. Looking at the faces of his disciples it would seem they were disturbed by what they were hearing, Jesus encourages them by saying, even though there would be change, do not let your hearts to be troubled about your future without me, you have believed in God now they were to believe in him. (John 14:1)

Does that all sound too simple to trust when all that is familiar has or is fading away?

The psalmist had the same problem but suggested we should taste and see that the Lord is good; for there is much blessing for those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8) Jesus also told his disciples that he would send another comforter who would stand in his place. We know this to be the Holy Spirit.

If you find yourself outside your comfort zone or familiar territory, taste and see that the Lord is good, trust him and letting the Holy Spirit be your comforter and guide into new or unfamiliar territory.

Robert Arnold,

Kyabram Baptist Church Pastor.

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