This was first published in the Owatonna People’s Press on September 12, 2015.
As I write this, our two boys are midway through their first day of school. This morning Lori and I had them line up in front of the house for the obligatory “first day of school photo” that we’ve been taking every year since pre-school. With one boy beginning 7th grade and one starting 9th, they are both moving to new buildings, so there’s an extra dose of nervousness and excitement. I’m in my office, trying to work my way through my to-do list, but am having a hard time focusing because I’m excited to get home and hear how their day went.
Why? Because it’s all new.
But how quickly in my mind, the new becomes the old. I recognize within myself that in just a few months, my attitude will have shifted from new and exciting, to mundane and tired. By about the third week of January, I’ll be tired of the cold. I’ll be tired of the snow. I’ll be tired of getting up early to walk the dog in the pre-dawn wind. I’ll be tired of the routine and will be ready for something new.
Revelations 21:5 says that “…He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
The truth is, according to the scriptures, that the creative and redemptive work of God is a daily occurrence. Every single day, I fall short of what God asks of me, but every single day, God’s grace overwhelms my shortcomings. Every single day, through the love of Christ I am made new.
Now, the key is to remember that.
Martin Luther once said that every morning after he awoke, he would stand at the washbasin, and as the cold water splashed him on the face he would be reminded “I am a child of God.” And for Luther, it wasn’t a reminder of a one-time event. It was a reminder that every single day, he was made new, reborn, in his relationship with God.
By the time that you read this, we’ll be four days into our school year. And everything will still feel new. But soon, they will begin to feel routine, and the excitement will return to normal levels. In a few months, it might even begin to feel like a grind.
My word of advice to you on those days would be to open your eyes and look to see what in the midst of your routine is being made new. What is God up to? How is God working in your world? Where do you see God today? Because our scripture promises that God is there, active and working. Look and see!
And remember that in the midst of our busy, routine lives…God continues to make us new.