Change will happen – like it or not

Published 8:32am Thursday, May 16, 2013

By Rev. Jonathan Yarboro
Greetings from the corner of Bridge and Bridge! First Presbyterian is experiencing what I believe will be the last day of banking and shaking as I am writing this week’s column. The demolition of the old yellow houses is near completion, but now I realize how dirty the back of the church is!
The landscape of God’s creation changes daily. Sometimes those changes are small in scale. Other times the change is dramatic.
The first block of North Bridge Street has an entirely different look than it has for the last 100 years or so. The growing structures of the new casino and hotel are dramatically changing the bank of the Coosa River in downtown.
The interesting thing about these kinds of changes, small and large scale alike, is that they are somewhat unavoidable. Time marches on. Communities grow and shrink. Businesses come and go. Change happens whether we like it or not.
Two years ago, Stanton announced that she wanted to start riding bikes to school. I was thrilled, because some of my fondest memories of childhood come from my two-wheeled adventures. The problem was that Josephine was not big enough to ride her bike all the way to school and back and Stanton could not ride to school alone.
At first, I had the brilliant idea of purchasing one of those bicycle trailers made for small children to ride in. I still enjoy riding my bike, so this seemed like a logical solution, albeit a somewhat degrading one for Josephine. Fortunately for me, someone had a better idea and they turned that idea into an invention.
While perusing Academy Sports for a bike trailer, I came across a device called the Co-Pilot. This device is essentially a half bicycle that attaches to an adult’s bike. It has one wheel, pedals, and handle bars. I was thrilled and bought it immediately.
When I got it home, I rushed to put it together. As I was working, Josephine walked up and asked, “Dad, what kind of funky contraption is that?” Those of you who know Josephine know what a hard time she has expressing herself! The name stuck.
Once it was operational, however, her caution turned to exuberance. The funky contraption is something to behold, if I do say so myself! Our’s is the only one in Wetumpka I am aware of. We have been riding it to school in good weather for the last two years.
This morning, as the girls and I headed out to ride to school, Josephine informed me she was ready to ride her new bike. I unhooked the funky contraption and all three of us rode solo to school. Stanton humored us and rode slow. It was not a pretty ride for Josephine, but she persevered and we made it safe and sound.
I am thrilled for Josephine and her growing sense of independence. I am devastated as a dad who realized this morning that the days of the funky contraption are coming to a close. Sometimes the small changes turn out to be monumental. This morning I was reminded in a seemingly small way that the landscape of God’s creation changes with every moment.
We can ignore this reality and hang on to what was, or we can embrace reality and allow our past to inform our future. I am sad knowing Josephine’s bike is no longer attached to mine. I hope neither of us ever forgets how fun the ride was! Here’s to the next leg of the journey!

The Rev. Jonathan Yarboro is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Wetumpka.

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