Same Difference

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

What a strange combination of words.  It is most often used when people are describing the same thing but in a different way.  An example, she is my mother’s sister, or she is my aunt, this is the same difference.  The same reality described in different ways.

There are also times when people misuse the phrase.  Often this happens when people are in a discussion and don’t wish to continue in an argumentative way. They may then say “same difference” hoping the other will see this as some form of agreement or like-mind.  When that seems unlikely and the people are entrenched you may here, “well we just have to agree to disagree,” to acknowledge an impasse without further ill.

Yet taken just as two words together on the page or rolling off the tongue cause me a different mental, moral, physical, and spiritual quandary.  How can some thing or someone remain the same and yet be different?  While that phrase may work well in matters of thought or debate, the same phrase doesn’t make much sense in a practice life way.

Nothing in this world can remain the same and be different.  If a person tries to do the same thing day after day and expect a different result would make one foolish or naïve.  Another popular way of saying this is “the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing but expecting a different result.”  The issue is either the practice is flawed doing the same things wishing for a different result, or the logic of doing the same things and expecting a different result.

The inverse is also a reality.  Can one think of anything that remains the same?  We are all changing and becoming different.  Our bodies certainly do.  I read once that in a nine-year period every cell in our body will have died and been replaced by a new one.  Our universe is also a physical entity and no part of that remains the same.  The universe’s rate of change happens over longer span of time than we can look at in the span of a lifetime.

Many hope, without reason, that they can remain the same (not possible) and even in that perceived sameness can be different.  Let go of these ideas.  The only thing that is ultimately the “same” is that which is eternal.  Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  Only following this same will make a real and lasting difference in the world.  Let go of those same differences and follow the difference maker.

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