April 2008

Life’s Changes

It is said that there is nothing certain in life - save death and taxes... I was wondering about this over a cup of coffee and custard cream biscuit or two, and it occurred to me that (great philosophical insight here) there is a third certainty. ‘What is it?’, I hear you ask. Well, quite simply, the other certainty is uncertainty, or to be more specific – change. Change is a constant in life. It might be a slow, almost imperceptible change or be sudden and surprising, but change is always present. So:- death, taxes and change.

What led me to this revelation is that Rebecca is starting High School in September. Both she and Sebastian go to an excellent primary school. They are happy there, they are learning there, they are being encouraged to do the best they can. But come September she, along with 100,000s of other 11 year olds, will move to a different, larger, more diverse school. This upheaval has been coming for some time but when in early March we finally received the email confirming her new school, the realisation that the transfer in September was actually happening finally sunk home to me.

For her it’s a different school, friends and expectations. For us it saying goodbye (at least for her) to the cosy and familiar world of primary school and figuring out how, as parents, we can support, encourage and/or cajole her to the achieve best she is capable of in this new context. It’s change and its here.

Sometimes we can have a choice in the change:- changing jobs, getting married/divorced, moving house or having children or not. Sometimes change is forced on us:- changing jobs, getting married/divorced, moving house or having children or not. Hang on – that was the same list.... It seems that whether we embrace change, or it happens ‘all by itself’ the questions that occupies us are, how do we accept the inevitable, and how, in spite of unwelcome events, can we move to a different point in life with confidence.

I wonder whether it is here that our faith in God makes a difference. King Canute couldn’t hold back the tide, and neither can our faith. However, God is constant in all of the ebbs and flows of life. A friend and companion in the dark times and in the good times. Someone to support and rely on if we have been the ones who choose to move on to something new or if challenges confront us. And isn’t it good that God loves us no matter what life throws at us. Relying on God does make the difference.

I guess therefore that I’ve just had an even greater philosophical insight. There is not just two things that are certain in life, death and taxes, or even three certain things, death, taxes and change, but four! Namely death, taxes, change and ... God.


April 2008