Cuz “the old is better”! That sense of familiarity, sense of home, safety, control, whether totally, some or very little “right vs. wrong”, or simply personal (or shared w. family, friends, neighbors) preference Jesus’ statement about new wine needing new wineskins continues to ring true.
But in every earth year there is a Spring.
The concept is a reality in all relationships, work, social connections, even sometimes in hobbies and somewhat amazingly, even in terms of imagination and artistry. Any of us for any number of reasons just don’t want to embrace change.
A major issue in these scenarios is trauma. From imagined to actual and anywhere in the spectrum between, trauma often stays with us for life. But it’s not always life-giving. As scientists and doctors rightly tell us, pain is a gift in the sense it alerts us to pay attention, often part of the process of “early warning” where if taken care of can keep us from serious harm or greater injury.
Then there is the life-long imbalance of filtering change through sentimentality. By this I mean there remains in memory a time, place, person or people that we rightly or to the extreme romanticize, miss, look back in lament of what was, what we’ve lost, or “what might have been”.
Some spend a great deal of time and energy trying to re-gain what cannot be gotten this side of heaven. Others do all they can to protect themselves from what they suspect would be greater loss and/or continually seek the old, familiar however they can find it with the idea they can regain that sense of personal fulfilment and desires being met once again.
My actual early traumas in life were few but to me, deep. My earliest memories of such was our family moving and my best friend (several dogs, several times) having to go away because our new landlord and home couldn’t accommodate them.
Then came the day my Mom sat my brother and I down to tell us she was divorcing my Dad, that she didn’t love him any more, it was over. That remains one of the major traumas of my life.
Three incredibly horrible acid trips, a suicide attempt, my father-in-law visiting what was likely bi-polar episodes on myself, family and church, a long list of other intensely affecting events over my lifetime didn’t exactly happen without my notice! BUT… I don’t live in them nor do I worry or fear change -at all.
I am often energized by change. New wine, something new, different or exotic has rarely worried me. No doubt I don’t automatically love, fully embrace nor leap with joy over every new change or even loss of all things! And yet… I neither live in the past nor fully dwell in the present. The present as well as future will be forever bright to me. Why and how?
When you are convinced you have been gifted with eternal life, that you actually have daily fellowship and acceptance by the one and true God Who is unchanging and Who has better plans than any human or group of them could imagine and conjure, and that nobody and nothing can ultimately change HIM and what HE plans (see Jeremiah 29.11 for example) the details, the “wine” and “containers” aren’t the core issue. Rather, it’s the RIGHT NOW RELATIONSHIP.
As I’ve mentioned before, change and pioneering has its risks -but so does sitting stagnant and refusing to change. The brittle and dying hickory branch is quite different from the sap-laced willow and I’ll take the willow every time in a strong wind.
As I age and read, listen, interact with all sorts of people both near and far in this world I see the need to embrace change, growth and greater focus as well as dependence on the God Who is UNchanging. WE of course… will change. If it is in becoming closer to and in character, more like Jesus -and if even in some small way more people will truly love and obey Him via my example, let the changes come!
It’s Spring again in Chicago- bring it on! 🙂
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn