“Keep the change” is not as popular a phrase today, in the age of credit cards and Apple pay, as it once was. But this expression used to be quite common.
You often heard it expressed to a waiter or waitress after one paid for a meal. “Keep the change” meant, “I want you to have this. Thank you for the great service and meal.”
Today, when we think about change, we might say the same words, but with a completely different meaning. “Keep the change” might mean, “I hate change! I want things to stay the same! Please keep the change as far away from me as possible!”
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.” The longer you live the more you realize this is true.
Change is not something we ought to fear, dread or try to stay away from. Instead, we ought to embrace change and understand how to navigate it carefully.
I have a love/hate relationship with summer. Yes, the weather is nice. No question I love to take a vacation with my family. However, summer also seems to be the time that introduces change. Children graduate to the next grade or school, move away for college or even get married. Others sell a home or relocate to start a new job during this time.
Solomon, known for his wisdom, wrote these words in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” He goes on to describe that there is a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to harvest; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up. In other words, nothing in life ever stays the same.
The one constant in life is change. Don’t get upset about it or try to avoid it. Accept the idea that change is going to happen in life.
But here’s the interesting thing: to accept that change is a reality of life, we must also accept the one constant in life that never changes. When we refuse to accept the one thing that does not change, then all the other changes in life will overwhelm and consume us.
So, what is the one thing in life that does not change? We’re told this in Hebrews 13:8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Jesus is the one constant that allows us to navigate all the other changes in life.
So, what changes are you facing right now? Have you recognized that change is simply a part of life? And are you able to hold on to the one constant that never changes? If so, you will find yourself handling the changes of life better than you ever imagined.
Instead of saying, “Keep the change,” you may actually find yourself saying, “With Jesus’ help, I got this! Bring it on!”
Brad LeRoy is lead pastor of Harvest Church in Mt. Comfort. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.