One thing I consistently regret are circumstances where a lack of knowledge prevented me from making good choices. For example, When I first moved into my home, I was confronted with a garage packed floor to ceiling with junk. Or, at least, what I thought was junk. I rented a large roll-off garbage contained and filled it to the top with debris. There was a gigantic old tractor engine, various pieces of broken glass, dried-up paint in cans, rusty pipes, and metal rods. But one thing I added to the pile was this collection of 100-year-old window frames with single pane glass and warped with time. It wasn’t until after I had disposed of all 15 of them that I learned that vintage window frames were valuable, and I could have sold them to a reclaimed wood place for a pretty penny.
Dismissing The Value Of Age
It was an odd thing for me to miss. My father had been an antique dealer, and I’ve always been pretty good at discerning valuable antique treasures from old junk. I could have kicked myself when I saw a TV show detailing the struggle to find original window frames for old houses. To DIYers, artists, and decorators – What’s old is new, and finding reclaimed items can completely transform a space. Age doesn’t make something or someone obsolete. In fact, age and the experience that comes with it make an older person’s perspective or advice priceless. Furniture, art, wine, and cheese can all become more valuable with age.
Starting From Scratch Vs. Revision, Reclamation, & Revitalization
I spent many years teaching high school students how to write essays, research papers, and articles. The two things I spent the most time on with kids were organization and revision. The hardest part of the job was when a child would come with nothing written at all. Starting from scratch was significantly harder than revising and reorganizing. Frequently, students would come to me with an ill-conceived, unsupported thesis that would need to be thrown out completely.
Spotting The Value
Experience taught me to spot the value in their arguments and extract them for use later. Students would often sit angrily as I made them plan out an essay they had already written. Then they would stare dumbfounded as I aligned their own words to match the new organizational structure. Simple reorganization could transform an entire piece that way. Those experiences made me reflect on the verse for today. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; The old has passed away, the new has come. How amazing it is that God can take my old broken self and transform me into something new.
If anything, these past four years have taught me is that God can reclaim even the most broken pieces. And, while the sculpture may never be the same, that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. In fact, many times, the weaker parts that are broken off during the struggle of life are either replaced by something stronger or leave the piece with fewer exploitable vulnerabilities. Usually, the twisting and turning, the bending and breaking, the pulling and stretching leave one more beautiful, understanding, and empathetic than ever before.
Thank you, Lord, for making me new!
Day 3 Reading: