Chaplain’s Corner: Spring Into Spring

Change is taking place all around.  The crocus are all but croaked, daffodils are early again, and grass will need cutting soon.  One season leads to another.  Winter is, for all reasonable purposes, over for our area of the world.

Now, those who want to ski or throw snowballs, there is plenty of winter left in other parts of Canada.  For those who think even this mild weather  is too cold, and if you have the loonies to do so, warmer climes beckon to the south.  Yet, change is in the air as the Earth turns in the daily cycle.

Some of the change is noted at the grocery store.  The cost of many food items has been steadily going up each month.  When you have to mortgage the house to have a bit of cauliflower, well that is a change.  The cost of transporting goods is balanced against the cost of growing produce.  Both of these factors impact on the price of food.  Yet some of you will note that so many food items were not known a few decades ago.  During World War II those of you who are over 70 may recall that supplies were pretty limited.  Ration books regulated how much of what you put on the table.  During those times thousands in the world starved.  Now in our new age of change there are still thousands starving, some here at home in our own neighbourhoods or not too far away.  Yet we expect abundance of choices on the shelves.  And we want it for nothing.

Recent trips to the petrol pumps add more confusion to change.  Why do prices per litre change every few days?  Well we are told that these market commodities are based on a supply demand.  The cost of buying our gasoline from across the border is connected to the American dollar.  World supplies dictate how much we pay at the nozzle.   There are lots of answers as to why it costs so much.  None of it accounts for the change in our attitudes towards all these adjustments.  And we need to travel here and there and everywhere.  During the Cold War the big nations were doing strategic planning as to who could control the fossil fuels needed in the future.  Now we are in the future.  Perhaps we need to find out what controls what in these matters.

Change in demographics tell a story as well.  Seniors are a growing statistic.  This has been known for some time.  The reality is that the Boomer generation has now come into retirement.  This change will drive the social and economic fabric of society for the next few decades.  In World War I the young men marched off to war.  The young women took over the work force in those years.  By WW II that same change in family makeup and job descriptions became a New Age phenomena.  Today equality is a norm.  The change of aging population just means fewer equals for doing the breadwinning needed to  pay today’s mortgage.  This has an impact on all of us as we go about our daily life. Welcome Boomers!

It used to  be that religion was a factor in community life.  Some of us remember that there were times when sports on Sunday were not the main drawing card for people’s attention on the “day of rest”.  Change has come to allow a plethora of activities to suit every taste on any day, including Sunday, or Saturday, or Friday.  Religion and spiritual choices abound within a society that can ignore all of this for the pleasure at hand.  The challenges of modern living give a great deal of freedom with a wonderful opportunity of casting responsibility on to others.

The Royal Canadian Legion is finding that all of the above remarks impact on the life of every Branch.  Costs of doing business as usual do not count for the exchange that has taken place.  Aging members have to give room for younger generations who do not know what the Legion has to offer.  Rules and social mores have shifted from some honourable standards such as service and pride, to a “what is in it for me” attitude.  We need to think outside the box to find how change can drive the purpose for which we exist.  Now is the time to step up and be a part of what has always been taken for granted.  Now is the time to support the executive and leadership at local and provincial and national levels.  Now is the time to embrace the changing seasons of life.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;… a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”

(Ecclesiastes 3:1 to 8 selected verses, Holy Bible of Christian Scriptures NRSV) When looked at over the millennium of time, change is nothing new.  It was a challenge for our ancient ancestors and is a challenge for us.  So I invite you to live with the times.  But live with purpose and ideals that are unchangeable and timeless.  God bless us all in that.

by Padre Art Turnbull

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