Some Things Never Change
The calendar tells us that this is the week of Christmas, the "most wonderful time of the year" as the song goes. This year, though, something feels a bit off. We are still shy of twelve months of complete disruption from the pandemic that has hit our globe, which means that we can all remember what it was like last year at this time. Some would call that time last year "normal" compared to what we are experiencing today. We had no idea what was about to hit us. Unprecedented is a word that is used a lot these days, though I admit that I try to shy away from that word altogether. I sometimes find it hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2020, when it feels like the time from March until now has been like a never-ending cycle of reliving the same day over and over again, or some variation thereof.
There are some things about this Christmas season, however, regardless of the pandemic, that make me wonder what month it is. For one, there is no snow on the ground. Maybe it's going to be a brown Christmas. Though the temperatures are cold enough to flood the rink up the street from our house, the quality of ice is still debatable, as my children would say. The temperature has been unseasonably warm for Minnesota. We had a 40-degree day recently. Mind you, as the years go by, I rather enjoy warmer weather and shorter winters. But let's put all that aside for now. What I really want to do right now is have us center our thoughts on the things that never change.
Morning, Evening, Repeat
I began my job as president of CSC this past August. Already four months have gone by and with it so many full and fulfilling days of work for this amazing ministry. I love my job! It seems, though, that with each passing year, and as I get older, the days get shorter. Why is that? Just so you know, it is not just me and it is not just you. There is a lot of science behind why "time speeds up" as you age. While we all know that there are still 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, it can seem that the weeks and months just "fly" by. I've heard that the more years you live, the less one year (or one day) is as a total of all the years you have lived. Makes sense to me.
A Cambridge University study from March 2019 posits that perception and physics have a lot to do with why we feel time is speeding up. The study explains that "clock time" is not the same as the time perceived by the human mind. "The 'mind time' is a sequence of images, i.e. reflections of nature that are fed by stimuli from sensory organs" (Bejan, 2019). It goes on to talk about the difference in those who are well rested versus those who are overtired. We are much more likely to watch time pass us by when we are tired and worn. Conversely, the person who is at rest is likely to experience a slowness of time and may feel more at peace. I have to admit that I have more times of time moving quickly than times at rest.
So what can we do to remedy this state of being? Try reading Psalm 63, as follows. Take some time to really "drink" these words in. Use this and other Psalms, even other scriptures, to get your mind and soul in a position of rest in order to slow down your processing time.
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced. (The Holy Bible, NIV)
Childlike Curiosity for Cebu
Part of what motivates and drives me is a curiosity to discover new things, or new ways of doing old things. Just last night I was looking at maps of Cebu, Philippines and some of the neighboring islands. I was imagining the property that is Children's Shelter of Cebu, the three residences, the infirmary, Children of Hope School. I imagined seeing the children and staff outside, walking the grounds, playing, sitting, and also those who were inside the buildings. I imagined myself in that setting as well, soaking in the heat and humidity like I had done when I was in Cebu last, many years ago. I just can't wait to hop a plane and go over there again.
Part of the curiosity I have has to do with my vision for the future, especially as it relates to CSC. I am mindful of a Christ-centered ministry that has been around for nearly 42 years and am also aware of my own place in the ministry, as a former board member and now as president. I feel a stirring and calling from God that He has more for us to do in Cebu, much more. 2021 is just around the corner and I am so excited for what next year will bring. I am grateful for a leadership team in Cebu who are so capable of doing what is required of them in order to provide the best care possible for all of the children. I am grateful for all those who partner with CSC to make it possible for this care to happen, both financially and through prayer.
Lamentations 3:22-23 are two verses that most of us could sing or hum the tune to.
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (The Holy Bible, ESV)
When I think about faithfulness, I often think about who is the one being faithful and what they character qualities are. On a human level, I understand quickly that our ability to be faithful and unfaithful can change in a matter of seconds. That is because we are a flawed humanity full of faults. God on the other hand is the only one who can be consistently faithful, and He promises His faithfulness each and every day. Even in the hardest of days (or years, like 2020), His faithfulness can be seen everywhere. I should say that those who know God and who choose to seek Him can see His faithfulness everywhere. God remains the same, never changing. As Hebrews 13:8 says of God's only son, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (The Holy Bible, ESV).
I find it so reassuring that God is the one thing that never changes. And even more than that, the Bible tells us that He was present before everything was formed. He is the beginning AND the end. Psalm 90:2 says, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God" (The Holy Bible, ESV). He will be there to guide CSC through whatever the next year brings.
Dear Lord, we praise you for all the many blessings of this year. Thank you for your faithfulness. Remind us of the importance to slow down and to rest in you, and draw us to your Holy Word for that rest. Help us remember that you are the same yesterday and today and forever. Please show us the way to go in 2021 and may everything we do be done in a way that brings you glory. In the name of Jesus, the Christ, Amen.
It is my honor to be able to write periodically for our CSC blog. It is my hope that these words and the words from all those who share from time to time will draw you in to a deeper walk with the Lord and help you see things from different points of view. While we hope to tell you more about Children's Shelter of Cebu, we also want to share a bit about those who do the work.
Bejan, A. (2019, March 18). Why the days seem shorter as we get older. Retrieved from:
The Holy Bible. New International Version. Retrieved from:
The Holy Bible. English Standard Version. Retrieved from: