Now that I have your attention, let me clarify by saying I am referring to the handlebars of a bicycle. When I am not figuring out how to design a network, or sort out an issue on a network, I spend part of my time riding, restoring and collecting old bicycles. My collection of bicycles covers a time span of almost 100 years.
Below are photos of two of my bicycles:
The bicycle on the left is a 1928 Chater-Lea Gentleman’s #1. The bicycle on the right is a 1990 Masi 3V Volumetrica.
One afternoon while riding, it occurred to me that the basic concepts of the bicycle have not changed over the last 120 or so years. It is true that there are now gears, and better brakes, and lighter materials, but those are just refinements, not changes to the concept of the bicycle. This caused me to remember something from a college class many years ago.
I was taking a class called Pastor and Works taught by Tom Wolf, who was Pastor of the Church on Brady, which is now Mosaic. He made this statement- “God never changes principles, only procedures”. Meaning that principles are constants just like God is constant. They do not change.
Going back to the bicycle, the shape of the handlebar may change. The material the tires are made from may change. But the idea that gears, a chain and pedals are combined to allow us to move faster than walking has not changed since the early days.
The way we record data is in fields of like information entered on forms. The manner in which we do that has changed from paper and pen, to electronic on local storage media, to electronic on a hosted system in the cloud. The principles or concepts are constant, but the manner or procedure has changed.
This concept and procedure relationship applies across all areas whether it be music, carpentry, data management, photography or the church.
The important thing to note is that if you understand the concept, you can always adjust to a change in procedure. And if you can adjust to that change, then you will always know how to keep the bicycle moving.