As I write this, it’s 24 degrees outside, and I’m sitting in my living room, desperately clutching my oversized cup of coffee, trying to keep warm as three workers go in and out my almost-constantly-open front door. Today is the day that I am getting new flooring in my house. These three workers showed up early and are hard at work rolling up old carpet, hauling it outside and bringing in new flooring materials.
This is a long-anticipated day for me. When we bought this house a month and a half ago, replacing the carpet was the one project that I insisted had to happen as soon as humanly possible. It’s not that the carpet that was already there was that bad. Some of it was in fine condition, and some of it even looked quite similar to what we picked as a replacement. But some rooms had torn-up edges, and others had huge stains. And the most annoying problem of all was that we counted six — SIX! — different kinds of carpet throughout the house.
I don’t know how we got to this point, but I have a guess. It looks to me like the previous owners were updating the house in phases. As they came to each new area, they put in whatever flooring they liked or could afford in the room or hallway that was being renovated at that time. The end result was a house that looked like a flooring showroom.
They were changing the décor in their house much like the way most of us want to change our lives. I’ll focus on my budget, if I don’t have to work on my relationships. I’ll exercise, if I don’t have to go on a diet. I’ll tackle one area at a time, but the rest of my life is off-limits to change! This approach is perfectly natural and makes good, logical sense. Small and steady change is easier. We have time to adjust and adapt and figure out our new normal. Then, when we get one “room” done, we move on to the next.
But as I watch these workers, it strikes me that the work they’re doing today is much closer to the work Jesus does in our lives. Second Corinthians 5:17 says that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
The transformation that Jesus does in our lives is not a little sprucing up here and there. He’s not overworked and on a tight budget, and only able to invest but so much time and energy into us. If we’ll let him, it looks like the construction zone in my house this morning. Everything gets torn up. The old, nasty stuff gets thrown out. Something brand-new comes in to replace it. It’s not a little bit of change; it’s a whole new creation.
It’s hard work. It’s a messy process. It takes time. But the end result is oh-so-good and entirely worth it. May we each take a critical look at our lives, see how the “old” has failed us, and make the choice to be in Christ and to become a brand-new creation.