Sunday, November 26, 2006

Restoring, Renewing, and Trying Something New

Last week I did all three.

Restoring. My first car was a 1967 VW Beetle. I took it apart and put it back together twice, and learned a lot about working on cars from it. The transmission on my truck is starting to act goofy, so I bought a “new” car – a 1991 BMW 325i. My wife’s brother-in-law (many thanks, Larry) and I put in about 5 hours of work on it on Friday, and it runs like a top. It needs a few other odds and ends that I’m scared to do myself, but it runs great. It’ll be a labor of love restoring it, and a slow process, but I’ve decided to have fun doing it.

Renewing. My family went to visit my wife’s sister for Thanksgiving. Her family, along with my mother-in-law, had a wonderful time together. Food, family, fellowship – what a blessing, and what a gift. We had forgotten what a great time we have with each other when we gather. I also realized how mentally tired I have been for the past several months. While I’ve done a lot better job keeping my body in shape in the past few months, my mind and soul have needed renewal and attention too. Balance is important in any renewal.

Trying Something New. I am a creature of tradition and habit, and at my age don’t take on new things very easily or often. So when my wife’s brother-in-law suggested that I try dirt-bike riding over the weekend, I initially balked; I had visions of an emergency room visit, consults with an orthopedic surgeon, etc. I’ve ridden motorcycles for a while, but never off-road. But I tried it… and found that I wouldn’t need a whole lot of arm-twisting to enjoy it. I had good teachers (brother-in-law mentioned above and my nephew, Matt).

You know… restoring, renewing, and trying something new are things we as Christians should not only embrace – we should be experts in it!! If we are to be in the world yet not of it, how else can we preach and teach in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Restoring the truth and tradition that the saints of old handed down to us, renewing ourselves and the Church so that both may be effective vessels of sharing the Good News, And trying something new? Well, at one time pipe organs, electricity, indoor plumbing, and computers were unheard of in churches, and probably frowned upon (i.e., can anything good come out of anything new?!?).

What might God be trying to get us to restore, renew, and try? In the name of Jesus.


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