I grew up in only two houses. I lived in one till I was four and I honestly don't remember much about that one. The other house, I lived in from the age of four until I was 24! It is as Miranda Lambert sings about, "the house that built me." My parents moved from that house when I was in my early 30's. I love where they live now and it instantly became home. I'll tell you about my parent's home another time.
Mike, Zoie and I moved back to my home town almost seven years ago. As we drive by the old home place, I find myself saying, "I used to live there." Driving to my parents on Christmas eve this year, I looked at my old house and noticed a "For Sale" sign. I asked Mike to pull over and I jotted down the number of the agent on the sign. A couple days later, I called and asked to see the house. I was so excited! I knew there had been some add-ons made and I could not wait to see the changes on the inside. Even as we pulled into the drive, things felt familiar. I drew in a deep breath and for a brief second, felt like I had come home from a long trip. We walked to the front door and stepped into what had always been my favorite room...the formal living room.
I had expected the house to be a little run down, after all... it was over 50 years old! But this was heart breaking! There had been changes to the outside of the house...updates...some good...some not so good. But the inside of the house had not changed...It was stuck in the 70's and 80's era. I vaguely heard the agent talking about the hard wood floors, as I walked around what had once been an elegant, peaceful, GOD-filled room, that now stood half empty and discarded. The agent went on to explain about a very bad, brown and green carpet in the great room. I kind of snorted out a half laugh as I said, "It wasn't green when I lived here." Soon we were walking into the kitchen and my heart sunk further. Although it had been painted, it too had been neglected. Then into the dinning room... it was the only room that looked like with just a coat of wax on the floor....it would be as good as new. I looked toward the great room and a tear ran down my face. The green and brown carpet that the agent had talked about... WAS the same carpet that my parents had put in there...only then it had been brown, orange and beige. The rest of the house was no better. Where seeing the same carpets and layouts of the rooms should have brought back fond memories, it only broke my heart more to see that nothing much had changed. I was flooded with childhood memories...all good by the way...and I shared them with Mike, Zoie and the patient agent. After we left, I cried because of the neglect. Why had they not taken care of the house?
My parents would have never let that house grow old like that. They constantly changed it while I was growing up, to fit the times. They had added on, updated, redesigned the cabinets... every couple of years our house was freshly painted and something was changed. It was always a showcase and beautiful.
It made me think about my own house...not the building I live in...but my spiritual house. The one where CHRIST dwells within me. Have I just kept up the outside with neglect to the inside? Have I tried too hard to keep it as it was 20 years ago? I often think back to my days as a young excited seminary student, who wanted to witness to the world! How many times have I tried to "decorate" my spiritual house by using the same kind of old stories and disciplines? Our relationship with GOD should be ever changing...always being updated to what is happening now...not what worked in the past.
I don't want to ever go back and live in the house where I used to live...physically or spiritually!
UPDATE ME LORD!!!! I need a relationship with YOU that is HERE, NOW, TODAY and exactly right with the times!
I think it is time to UPDATE And REDECORATE! I've got some ideas...wanna join me and let the ultimate designer give us an EXTREME MAKE-OVER!