Let's cherish the Old as we welcome the New
Over the last 6 months we’ve been swept along on an exhausting Roller Coaster Ride. I’m told that moving is the next most stressful event after divorce. From what we have been through, I can now testify to it. It’s been a voyage filled with highs and lows, mountain top views and sugar crashes. The number of variables out of our control cause the stress to rise—like the heat of an oven on a 40 degree day. But … I’m glad to report that there’s also been the faith-inspiring and comforting assurance of our being led, slowly but surely by a faithful, loving God.
And oh how He’s blessed us!
One such blessing came through two little plants I bought for our Open Inspections. I placed them beside our front door by our ‘Welcome mat’ to greet visitors. Our new blue beauties did not fail to deliver. I’ve given them plenty of TLC, moving them into the shade each afternoon and quenching their thirst every evening. Every time I tend them, my eyes feast on their loveliness and my heart gets filled.
A few days ago, I noticed something unusual—hydrangea flowers don’t turn brown when they dry up—did you know? They turn green. How amazing is that! It’s especially interesting because I call this my ‘Green Season’. Our Dream Home (which I hope God will secure for us) has green carpets and curtains. Not my favourite colour for carpets and curtains but God’s been whispering into my heart that this is the home for us and I am excited. (Actually, that’s putting it mildly. I’m dancing the Cha-ha-cha with rings on my fingers and bells on my toes!)
Green’s also my colour for good health and vitality and answered prayer. Whenever I take notes of my health to manage my chronic illness, I colour my bad-fibro-days red and my good days green. So yes, it’s my Green Season and I will look forward to it with eager anticipation. In fact I’ve dubbed 2018 (in faith), as my “Year of Promises Fulfilled”.
In a world which increasingly seems to value the young over the old, older people can easily be discarded. If you feel unwanted or that you have outlived your usefulness in the world, please think again. The Word of God offers encouragement and hope for us as we age. ‘The righteous will flourish like a palm tree … they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green’ Psalm 92:12. Isn’t that a lovely picture? For disciples of Jesus, there is no retirement—we have exciting work to do until the day we go home to Jesus be it at 80, 90 or 100 years of age. The type of work changes of course as our bodies get tired, but no matter how old we are - at age 3 or 103, in God's kingdom there is much we can contribute to.
I love connecting with people and it’s a joy to make new friends. But thankfully, new friends will never replace ‘old’ friends. Friendships begun in childhood have lasted and added joy to life's tapestry. Those begun in my teen years as a new Christian have deepened and thrived, giving rich substance to my walk with Christ.
Recently, It was good to throw out the clutter in our home, but not every old possession was clutter. I treasure a little mirror gifted me by my Dad when I was 9, because it brings him closer. I rejoice in the 5000-odd emails written to me by my beautiful Mama—refusing to delete even one of them. I delight in cards my beloved has showered me with over the years because they add layer upon layer to our love.
How thrilled I was to find a love note from my son written when he was 7 years old – it made me cry. Equally delightful were little notes I’ve written (some in my mother tongue) to my parents when I was growing up. So despite what we may imagine, there are a number of old items which have lasting value. Recently, I found a torn piece of paper with scribbled words—written by my accountability group in YFC – almost 40 years ago. I shed tears of joy, because even now, so many years later, as I read their loving words, I still felt deeply valued and that my life mattered.
Of course, some old “possessions” are best thrown out—old ways of doing life that have no place in the future. Old habits which are better replaced with new. Unforgiveness and bitterness, doubt and discouragement, negative attitudes and hurtful ways. But … there are other old belongings which will add to our lives. Happy memories give us a springboard into the future with added joy and added wisdom. People at any and every age matter. Faith, Family, Friends, Old Books, Old Songs and Good habits will continue to be cherished as I make space for new ideas and new friends, modern music, new books and healthier ways of doing life.
Not all old things need to be kept.
But not all old things need to be thrown away.
Let’s discard what we must discard but keep back that which is helpful.
Let’s not forget that every person, both old and young has significance.
Let’s welcome the New Year in, with glad anticipation and hope.
Let’s cherish the Old as we welcome the New.
A Bright and Beautiful 2018 to you, filled with much blessing.
That is my New Year wish for you. And don’t forget … do enjoy the Journey!
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy
good health and that all may go well with
you, even as your soul is getting along well.
3 John 2