Someone recently joked “twice in Hawick is ‘Aye bin’”. In other words, all of our current traditions were once innovations. And for all of our passion to preserve them, we must recognise that they will change again in the future.
Aside from death, change is the one certainty in life. Generally speaking, we would not want to return to the life of a previous generation. Our parents and grandparents hark back to “the good old days”. But how many of them would give up their central heating, colour TV, plentiful food and clothes, and the free bus pass?
The Common Riding celebrations have changed significantly over the centuries but at their heart sits the mounted cornet with his banner blue. In the same way, we need to find some point of certainty in our unsettled lives.
Many Victorians were horrified at the rapidly increasing mechanisation of their world. Hymnwriter Henry F Lyte offered sympathy and a solution. “Change and decay in all around I see. O thou who changest not, abide with me.” Why not emulate Lyte’s example and put your trust in Jesus Christ, “the same yesterday, today and forever”.