August 14, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Old Houses

Brother-Aaron-236x300Recently, Marianne and I purchased the property where I was raised. Our goal is to remodel it and use it for either rental income for our retirement years or maybe live in it ourselves and rent the house where we currently live. Who knows?

Anyway, when my father built this house, for whatever the reason, he didn’t put any insulation in it – period!  However, I have jokingly said that what the house lacked in insulation, he made up for with nails!  If something called for one nail to secure it – he put six!  But I digress.

Because the outside walls have no insulation, we made the decision to strip the house down to the studs, move some partitions and reconfigure the layout, replace the current windows and doors with energy efficient ones, install the insulation, and in short, remodel it correctly.

As I have been engaged in this project I have discovered an odd truth:  Old houses can teach you valuable life-lessons.

That old house reminded me that even though it was old – it still has value. The purpose for which it was designed has not changed. It is still capable of providing a family with shelter from the storm, warmth in the winter, cool in the summer, a place to rest, a place to make memories, a place to belong, and a place to call home.

Hum, that kinda reminds me of family, friends, and people that I love, respect, and value. Even though they are old, they still possess great value. In fact, it kinda reminds me of the church, too.

Even though modern society says she’s old, outdated, and a relic of the past, she still has great value and is still capable of providing us with what we need to survive and thrive. However, this treasure can only be discovered when we become willing to look past her years, see, and embrace the value that God wants us to experience.

That old house reminded me that it was there for my growth, maturity, and wellbeing. In most old houses you will find a record of a child’s growth. It’s usually found behind a closet door. It contains the child’s name, a date, a pencil mark, and his height.

In one casual glance you see a snapshot of several years of a child’s growth. And as you stand and look, the memories of a life lived long ago, forever frozen in time, flood your mind. Somewhere on that chart there will be a final entry.

That mark may have been recorded when the child matured to the point that he no longer wanted to be measured, he moved out, or some other life-event caused the systematic recording of a child’s growth to stop.

I was reminded that when I accepted Christ as my Savior I became a newborn babe in Him. In my Spiritual house there are many growth marks. My prayer is that the entries will never stop until God calls me home.

That old house reminded me that I alone am responsible for redeeming the values of my life that was placed into me in that old house.  As I removed a particular piece of drywall, I spied a coupon for some dishwashing liquid behind the wall.

As I examined it, it said, “Void if not redeemed by December 31, 1950.” At one time the coupon had value. However, its value was unredeemed. I am reminded that our Creator created us with great value. However, each of us alone is responsible for redeeming and using the value and gifts He placed in us. Failing to do so causes our life to become void.

In closing, I have been poignantly reminded that it wasn’t that old house that gave the family who lived in it, value. It was the home that two loving Christian parents made inside that old house that gave it its great value to us.

And while we I am now the owner and no longer a resident, the purpose for which that old house was built remains the same.

And with a little TLC it has the potential to once again provide a family with shelter from the storm, warmth in the winter, cool in the summer, a place to rest, a place to make memories, a place to belong, and a place to call home.

Ain’t that just like God?

 

Brother Aaron

 

Comments

  1. Harvey Kendrick says:

    Love reading your Pastoral Nuggets and listening to you on the radio

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