I saw an email some time ago from my cousin Billy Ray that included a list of many of the words and phrases that have gone out of style or that young people today might not recognize let alone ever use.  Phrases like “My old jalopy”, “Hunky Dory”, “Carbon Copy”, “Heavens to Betsy”, “Gee whillikers” and the like are a “Little Long in the Tooth”.  Remember using phrases like “Don’t touch that dial” or “You sound like a broken record” or “I got hung out to dry”?  I sure do.  And I’m not that old…well, “Jumping Jehoshaphat” truth be told “yes I am”.

Holy Moley!  Where is this all going?  I’m about to tell you but at this second, “not for all the tea in China”, will I “jump the gun”.  I’m hoping to be “in like Flynn and living the life of Riley but sometimes I act more like a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill”.  Now I’ve put myself in a “fine kettle of fish” and “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” if I can’t go somewhere with all of this.

Words change.  Language is always fluid.  I hear young people using phrases that, with a little work, I can decipher but they aren’t always immediately obvious to me.  On another note I find it hugely entertaining to look up where words and phrases I use all the time came from in the first place.

It turns out that there are lots of words and phrases that long gone or going fast.  Words and phrases like “knee high to a grasshopper”, “fiddlesticks”, “going like sixty”, “I’ll see you in the funny papers” and “don’t take a wooden nickel” are not worth much when it comes to speaking to young folks.  This can be disturbing stuff for me.  Every time I find myself using an altogether obvious phrase that results in my grandchildren just looking at me with a puzzled look I know I’m stuck in the past.

Words aren’t the only things that are always changing.  As the OLD 60’s song opined, “The Times They Are A-Changing” too.    Not all change is good, not all change is bad.  Change just keeps coming, whether we like it or not and in order to survive and more importantly to prosper we have to determine which change we will embrace and which change we want nothing to do with.  Of course, we don’t always agree on which is which.

The older I get the more I understand change and the more I have to remind myself to embrace it, to make it my friend and to adapt to new times and new ways.  I think I’m pretty “adept” at “adapting” but then it gets harder and harder.  I certainly don’t mind being described as “old school” all the while embracing the constant change that keeps coming at me.

The church is facing is lots of change.  We have to get more adept at adapting.  The essence of the message doesn’t change, but the way we communicate the message is always changing.  We either keep up with the changing times and adopt the appropriate new ways or we perish.  It’s that simple.  It’s important to stay true to our roots, to stay firm on what we believe and to remain faithful to God’s ways and his leadership all the while embracing the changes of life.

How adept are you at not just putting up with change but with embracing it?  Heavens to murgatroyd, don’t sit there like a bump on a log or talk about the old days like a broken record.  Be cool, be hip, and embrace the change!