Formations lesson for Aug. 31: Transitions
Lamar King, retired minister, High Point
August 19, 2008

Formations lesson for Aug. 31: Transitions

Formations lesson for Aug. 31: Transitions
Lamar King, retired minister, High Point
August 19, 2008

Focal passage: Philippians 4:4-9

It was the late 1880s, and he was a cowboy from Oklahoma. He had been to Kansas City seeing things he had never even imagined.

His eyes had been opened on that visit, and he went back to Oklahoma singing to his friends, “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City. They’ve gone about as far as they can go.”

He then proceeded to describe just how far they had gone. He saw 23 gas buggies in one day.

He put his ear to a strange apparatus and heard someone talking. They called it a telephone.

He saw a skyscraper seven stories tall, “about as high as a building ought to go.”

No wonder then that he went back home shaking his head in wonder at all those folks in Kansas City who have “gone about as far as they can go.”

That cowboy reflected an instinct as old as humanity and one that is still a problem for us today.

It is the feeling that we have gone about as far as we can go.

In 1886 the United States Patent Office very nearly closed its doors because some congresspersons balked at including it in the budget, feeling that the country had already gone about as far as it could go. One congressman stated in the Congressional Record, “It now appears that everything practical has already been invented.”

Fortunately, the Patent Office remained open, and that office went on to approve patents for such things as automobiles, gas engines, airplanes, telephones, radios, televisions, and you know the rest of the story.

The history of humanity is the story of change, of transitions from one world to the next. Our task as a church is not to decide whether we will change as we transition in life, but how we will change. We do not fear change because we have a changeless core — Jesus our Lord. His word does not change. His character does not change. His message of love and salvation for all people does not change.

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey says that having something changeless anchors us in the midst of a changing world.

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside of them,” he said. “The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, and what you are about, and what you value.”

That “changeless core” in the believer is Christ Himself. “My hope is built on nothing less …”