It’s just another day. Before I head off to the normal work grind, I skim my treasures in search of companionship. My eyes fall on an old classic, Rubber Soul by the Beatles, an album I have undoubtedly heard dozens of time in the past decade. As it unfolds and I approach my destination, my ears catch wind of words so familiar, yet faint until now:
There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed.
I paused and replayed the line over and over again. As I passed over the bridge, a teardrop emerged; for this song, which I had sung and replayed for so many years, was now real to me. I guess this is growing up.
Lennon’s acclaimed masterpiece goes on to recount the nostalgia for his youth, and how things often change for better and for worse. Places come and go, people live and die, but in his life, he loved them all.
The song takes a turn when he sings of his joy in finding the one. All of a sudden, these memories, as treasured as they are, cannot compare to the love he feels for his beloved.
The balance between valuing the past and embracing the present is more difficult than it looked on paper. A year ago, I had this new life all written out, but I never once planned for my heart to grow fond for yesteryear.
A smile will always dance across my face when I think about jamming with my friends in a sweaty cramped room on a blazing summer afternoon. My heart will always leap when I recall shivering while conversing in deep theologies with my friends at Starbucks on a winter’s eve. These memories all have their place; they remind us of who we are and where we came from, when we don’t know where we are going. But after hearing this song over and over again, I felt a great peace finally emerge that was missing in my heart this year. This peace came wrapped as the gift of acceptance.
Being able to accept and embrace change is one of the hardest things a person can do. Not because it isn’t exciting (as the song states, your trading your youth for something far better), rather because it is challenging. But when you begin to make new memories with those you love, you will find that God has more planned for you than you ever dared to dream. The adventures I travelled with my wife this year and the love I have for her is more than enough to justify this difficult transition. As the song goes:
Though I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before.
I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
In my life, I love you more.