Saturday 23 December 2017

Everything Passes

Last week I walked through a park where I used to play with my children when they were young. We played football and fed the ducks, and generally mucked about having fun, before going home for tea. We moved away from that area about 5 years ago and my children would not want to feed the ducks now or even play football with me. I'm not sure they would want to do much with me at all anymore! All parents will know the feeling. I felt rather sad at times gone, never to return. The surroundings suddenly seemed grey and gloomy.

But then I realised I was just indulging myself. Everything passes. I thought back to my parents and how I had lost interest in doing things with them as a teenager. It never crossed my mind that they might have missed the child I was as that was replaced by a sulky adolescent. They were just there to cater to my requirements. Well, the boot's on the other foot now!

This is life, isn't it? Certain periods are happy, most not particularly so. We cling to happy times but we can't retain them, and, if time did stop still at those moments, we would see them to be fairly ordinary after all. They would certainly become boring if they didn't change. 

Children grow and grow up and leave home. If you're lucky you can keep a good relationship with them but there are so many pressures now that is perhaps harder than it was. Ultimately everything passes. God alone remains. He is the one ever faithful, ever true, ever real fact. He doesn't change and he is always there. All human relationships change even if they are solid. But God alone endures. When all is said and done, that is the only thing we can depend on.


John Fitzgerald said...

But this too will pass and the kids will most likely come back to you in later years. I'd bet you'll end up playing in that park again with your grandchildren!

William Wildblood said...

I hope so!

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I don't believe that everything passes - rather I believe that everything important is eternally 'retained' or 'recorded' in some objective way.

Certainly, such times as you describe seem eternal - even when not-currently accessible - beyond the fragility and mortality of our personal memories.

I don't have a clear model of 'how this works' but to me it seems a basic and necessary fact of our existence.

William Wildblood said...

I see what you mean, Bruce, and I agree that where there is love that endures because it is real and what is real is so forever.

What I was trying to say in this post though was just that we shouldn't be attached to outer things and emotions because these will pass. 'We should lay up our treasure in heaven where neither moth nor rust will corrupt'

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - In one sense yes - but in another sense we can, and will (if we so choose) have both. At least that is my understanding.

For this I have found the Mormon 'restoration' of Christianity (i.e. the different metaphysics, the emphasis on family as the primary 'metaphor'; and additions and clarifications of that Christian doctrine we got from the time of the Apostles and the Bible) and then Wm. Arkle to be vital in my understanding. Plus, of course, a lot of personal reflection such that I (re-)discovered them for-myself, which is the single vital necessity; rather than accepting them for some other reason.

Others would probably need to re-discover this in their own way, from other stimuli.