There's something about moving that is both exciting and, well, not exciting. Having a new place to call "home" is certainly a lot fun - it brings a freshness and life to the usual routine that helps the day move along. On the other hand, there is always some comfort to the familiarity of the old.
We spent part of last night, and I'll spend most of today, moving me into a different office at work. I've been in the same office for about 6 years (maybe 7). I've been through a lot in that 12' x 12' room. I've gone from a young project manager struggling to check his shop drawings to a vice president struggling to keep a handle on 20+ projects and two other project managers under my guide. I remember a day or two in there when I called Alice and could barely speak, the stress was so heavy. I remember being at the brink of resignation (more than once), thinking I couldn't take another day of this insanity.
Now I move to the opposite side of the building. My office size has doubled. So, too, do the feelings of responsibility. If you're going to take the big office, you'd better perform. Being just "one of the guys" is no longer an option. More has been given, and more will be expected. There will be some tough decisions made between these new four walls. They'll be some unhappy folks call that new phone extension. The projects will continue to multiply.
Yet it's fun to move the old stuff into the new room. To rearrange and redecorate. To gain a new perspective on the old way of doing things. Sure, I'll reach for my phone book where it used to be and come up empty (because I no longer have a bookshelf adjacent to my desk), but that's part of the newness and that's OK.
We have that same sentimental value on our houses, our cars, and our places of worship. A new house is exciting, but we feel nostalgia for the old one where so many memories were made. A new car is wonderful, but finding the right buttons to control everything takes some time. And, while changes can breathe new life into an old, tired, and stale group of disciples, the process isn't without discomfort and stretching and there will always be those who long for the old ways.
When I continue to see churches with people that I hold dear that are stuck in the 1950's and refuse to accept progress and change in their churches (although they will accept them in their houses or cars...), I have to shake my head. Moving forward doesn't mean that the experiences and lessons learned in the past have no value. In fact, they are the basis for our moving forward. Had God not been faithful in the past, why would we even consider messing with the order of things now? But ours is not a God of staleness, routine, and passed expiration dates. He makes all things new. And He has promised to never leave us.
Hear the words of my new favorite song:
Be with me, Lord - I cannot live without Thee.
I dare not try to take one step alone.
I cannot bear the loads of life unaided.
I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.
See, I'm not against all things old.
But I still need to remember to take a left when I get inside the office on Monday morning.