By DANNY MINTON
I believe it all started with Kraft. It was on that day when I opened the bag of caramels and discovered it wasn’t there that I began to realize that things had changed. I thought little of it at the time, but when I opened the second bag and found the same thing was missing, it was then that I knew the end was near. It wasn’t there, and chances are it never would be again.
I was disheartened at the change; a change in something that had been an American staple for all the years that I grew up. It was something my brother, sister and I fought over with each opened bag, but now it was gone. When did it happen? Was it when Nabisco bought them out? Was it before that, just to cut costs? Why change? Why leave out the single most important part of the bag? Tears come to my eyes as I think of that one lonesome chocolate fudge caramel once hidden in each bag and the loss haunts the memories of my childhood!
Change is something that has slowly slipped into our world, and it is disheartening and confusing at times. Remember when a 5-pound bag of sugar was 5 pounds? Now it’s only 4. For Christmas, my mom would always give me a box of chocolate-covered cherries which held 20 to a box. Suddenly there were only 16, and the last box was only 12. The box was about the same size, but the contents had gone down dramatically. Frankfurters are now 8 to a package instead of 10. Of course, that one was logical since buns were always eight to a package, but I suspect any day now that will change to 6.
Oh, and it’s not only the food industry. Change can quietly slip up on us and as a result, can make life very frustrating. We get comfortable and secure in knowing things are dependable, when suddenly, without warning, we get caught off guard when quietly our security is torn out from under us. People feel insecure about change. They like to do things the way they have always done them, and anything different makes them feel uncomfortable.
However, things change. The world changes. Ideas change. In a world of change, it’s important to realize that change is OK as long as it is not contrary to what God has taught us. One thing that we need to remember is that change is not easy for many people. It’s difficult to give up old habits or change the way you think. It can be frustrating and uneasy to do things differently. To move out of our comfort zone sometimes takes courage on our part. At the same time, we must realize that what is comfortable with us may not be with others so they may need a hand to hold or a soft voice to help them make it through times of change.
In this world of change, however, there is one thing that never changes, Jesus Christ. The Hebrews writer tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (13:8) No matter what happens in the world we live in this is the one foundation stone on which we can continually trust. It is the one place we can always, from now and forever, turn to for security.
By the way, I’m thinking of petitioning Kraft to bring back the fudge caramel in the regular bag of caramels. Some things just shouldn’t change!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ