I’m not really a Bob Dylan fan.
I’ve never kept this secret, but I’ve also never just put it out there. It’s not that I don’t like him, I just don’t think his voice is anything to write home about. Now, his songwriting: that’s another thing. His songwriting is where it’s at. In fact, there are some songs that I really love and have no problem letting them get stuck in my head on replay for a few hours at a time.
Here’s the one that, in my opinion, is the best:
Video credit: YouTube
Originally released in 1964, the song was meant to be an anthem of change for the times. Dylan was influenced from Irish and Scottish ballads; and in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, he wanted to write a simple song that was a sort of call-to-action that people wanted to hear. And while Dylan’s message was meant for a particular time and place, it’s still relevant. Especially in our world today. Change is all around us.
As a new-call pastor who loves the challenge of a good change, this song is hard for me. All the advice I’ve been given is not to change anything in your first year, just be present, get to know people, and get to know the rhythms of the church. So, I’ve worked hard at trying to just go with the flow. But even death and taxes aren’t as guaranteed as change is, and as we learned from Dylan, change is all around us.
No matter how hard I try to escape changing anything, I find myself walking alongside changes happening daily. Instead of instigating change, I’m accompanying change. It’s a new concept for me. And a good one.
By trying to not change anything, I’ve been able to be there to support and help with those. It’s a gift really. And let’s be honest, there are tiny things I’ve hoped to change, and that’s normal. But to be able to walk alongside change as it happens and not be an instigator, I get to use a different set of skills and flex some muscles I haven’t in a while.
I like it.
So, I’m going to continue to let my inner change-agent-self take a rest, and just go with the flow. In the meantime, Dylan’s song is a good reminder that no matter what or how we try to avoid it, change is always going to be happening.