The Cost of Newness

WORDS FROM W.W.                                             September 16, 2013



       This summer we had new carpet installed at the house. Put it as a line item under “Wedding Expense”, because new carpet is vital to the success of a wedding! (That was an attempt at sarcasm.)

Actually, and this is the truth, we got new carpet because the cat died. Princess Maiboo (“Boo) went to meet her Maker in December. Our old carpet was stained with different “Boo offerings”, so I had promised Carol that we would get new carpet when Boo died. It also happened to be the original carpet from when the house was built a little over twenty years ago.

I’ve discovered one thing about new carpet versus the old. The new has more “rise” to it. That is, our old carpet had been beaten down over the course of time from foot travel and wear. The new…is new!

That became apparent to me the other night when I was in my study doing some work and I had the door closed. After a while I decided to take a break, so I went to open the door like usual and walk down the hallway. Except the clearance between the bottom of the door and the new carpet was like squeezing Shamu in through the front door of the house. Newness has caused resistance. I’m used to the old still, so I started to proceed through the doorway before there actually was a doorway to go through. I banged my knee on the door! It hurt! I proceeded to belittle the new carpet, as if it had a choice in the matter.

I enjoy the cushy feeling of the new carpet, but newness brings changes.

Newness costs us something even as we’re excited by it. I always try to approach “newness” in the church with tempered enthusiasm. Even though we talk in our churches about “new life”, “new birth”, “new hope”, when we replace something that has been with something that “hasn’t been yet”, there will be a period of uncomfortableness.

We see it in so many ways. Replace the Folgers with Starbucks and it will thrill some and disappoint others. Replace an existing ministry with a new one and there will be heartburn, as well as jubilation. Change pastors and some will go into deep mourning while others will be on the verge of singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Newness causes stubbed toes and bruised knees, while raising the spirits of many of the saints.

If given a choice the Israelites would always have voted to return to Egypt! What has been quite often becomes more attractive than what will be.

But sometimes newness needs to happen regardless of the heartburn and naysayers. It just does! Kind of like going to the orthodontist for braces…no one looks forward to the discomfort of braces, but can’t wait to have straight teeth.

One last thing! What is new now will someday be old. Simplistic, I know, but what I mean is that those who are excited about new directions today will someday resist the next new direction that would replace the current new one. Their current “new” will gradually become what they are comfortable with.

In essence, the church will always have battles between the old and the new. And to think, this whole blog post started because I banged my knee on the door as a result of new carpet.


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One Comment on “The Cost of Newness”

  1. Kimberly Henry Says:

    Reblogged this on Rhyme for Reason and commented:
    I agree there are always struggles with the new, even in our personal lives. We get used to something and do not want to give up the old because the new is outside our comfort zone. It’s like a child who has to give up a binky or a induces a fear of the unknown . The great thing about letting go of the old though that the new is just as great if not better than the old most of the time ! Then again I may not be the best to talk about this because I am always excited about the new and don’t have a whole lot of trouble letting go of the old ! I put away my “blankie”when I became a Christian. God never gets “old”

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