near a tipping point

There are times when the stress and strain of life with all its disappointments and despair can make one come near a tipping point in which some sort of change may well take place. The change may be for good or for ill. Actually life probably has many tipping points along the way, small last straws which make us rethink or negotiate a new course altogether, abeit in whatever small way. But there are times when the tipping point may result in radical change. Again, perhaps for good or perhaps not.

Usually change is more incremental. One example for many is the tendency to mellow out with age. One becomes at least much more tender, even if not changing at all in one’s basic view and convictions concerning life. One might come to discover that they simply don’t fit anymore where they once did, but somewhere else. I think of Jaroslav Pelikan, the outstanding Christian writer on Christian creeds. He discovered late in life that he was no longer an orthodox Lutheran, but an Eastern Orthodox Christian. Others have sudden experiences, a seismic shift, probably preceded by a number of factors. One example of that: C. S. Lewis’ reluctant but thorough conversion to Christianity.

Such an awareness may both help us on our own journey, and help us with reference to the journey of others, particularly those we are concerned about. Change is a part of life. We should all have hope to change for the good. To change for the good is actually beyond ourselves, found only in and through Jesus. To begin to understand and live in the truth of the gospel is the only way we will change for good, both for this life and for the life to come. Of course there is change that is good in other ways apart from Christ. But we miss the point of our existence when we are out and about apart from him.

And so life goes on, and hopefully we along with it. But in the one who is the way, the truth and the life. And we together with others in Jesus in this and for the world.

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