Posted tagged ‘Newness’

Recognizing The Change

December 18, 2013

 

 

I get pretty comfortable with how things work, and how things are suppose to be. For example, I have the same routine each morning after I wake up…unless I go to the YMCA and work out first. Any other day I get up and shower, brush my teeth and then shave. I never shave before the teeth are clean. Go figure! It’s just how it has been and is.

But I’m also a “stuck-in-the-mud” with how things work. I’m used to things being plugged in. Toaster, TV, room air conditioner, coffee maker.

And so it took me a long time to understand and adjust to the new term wireless. Wireless technology seemed to weird to me for a long, long time. I didn’t trust it. If plugged-in gadgets were good enough for my grandfather then they were good enought for me.

I, however, have made the change. I finally recognized that the change was a good thing, even if it was a new thing.

When Jesus came as a new born a “new thing” was beginning. The old thing was familiar, but the new happening required a shift.

On Christmas Eve we sing about the new thing that is about to happen- Jesus is about to be born. But here’s THE thing! God becoming man was meant to tell us about a change- a change that God wanted to see happen within each of our lives. He wanted to see peace on earth…and in each one of us. He wanted to see hope realized in my life and your life.

The story of the birth of Jesus is about a new creation…our new creation…from death to life…from despair to delight…from judgment to joy.

Sometimes things have to be surrendered to.

I pray that this Christmas changes you in God-glorifying ways!

The Cost of Newness

September 16, 2013

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.