an inevitable loss?

As I've gotten older, I've become more aware of the "fourth dimension." Time. How things and people change with the passage of years. I'm trying to see people less statically, and more as what they simply are now, which is not exactly what they have been or what they will be.

One of the more difficult effects of time to accept, for me, is the common process by which younger people rise to take over positions of power from their predecessors. Those challenging authority become the authorities. And then they almost always end up nearly identical in their use and misuse of that power as those before them.

People who are very critical of power when others have it can become surprisingly understanding when it's put in their hands. When they see the chance to use that power for "good." Then it turns out the ends may justify the means after all.

That's my problem. When those who challenged authority with me become the authorities, then that power is seen by them as a good thing, useful now that it's in the right hands. That's where it feels like I lose them. Because I don't want to make use of their "useful" new influence, and I don't have any interest in working for the survival of the organization, which is now a central part of their job description. So I see little opportunity for collaboration, and experience a loss of the friendship feeling of working towards a common goal.

And what's most upsetting is that it seems so universal, it happens over and over and over, with each change of "leadership." So is this loss inevitable?

Yes, I suppose it is. People who will reject power when it's offered to them are quite rare. It's a depressing thought. Until you remember that others are changing in time also. New people are stepping into the places that the others have stepped out of. New collaborators are rising up to challenge the institutional authority that in its nature remains the same, though different hands wield it (or are wielded by it). As some wine skins harden into the organization, the new wine is poured into fresh skins. God's Spirit of freedom "blows where it will." So it's important to keep looking for and embracing that Spirit, where it's appearing next. That's where I'll find co-workers and the friendship of a common goal. I need to trust God to provide them, like I was telling my friend last week.

And I also need to remember that time continues to change people. The experience of being in positions of power is one of the best arguments against it. So I'll also look for the Spirit's return, and the chance to be co-workers again.