Last week I shared about a willingness to make a change.
My desk is now reorganized, and I love it! I am discovering improvements I never expected from the adjustment – and this was just a minor one!
But, as I contemplate the improvements, a new thought occurs to me. I must not despise the way it used to be. Yes, that seems silly – it’s just desk organization. But, how clearly does the desk organization reflect my attitude toward my past?
Years ago, Doug and I discovered a new Christian rock band. Their first album was different from anything else in the Christian market, and we grew to love it.
Then the second album came out, and it was just okay.
What bothered me the most about the second album, though, was the attitude of the band toward their first album. They looked back on their freshman efforts and declared them immature and rough. Their new album, they claimed, was a marked improvement.
So, what does that say for the fans who loved their first album? Who liked it better than the second?
Fortunately, the band outgrew that mentality. They even returned to the style of their first album and produced several more phenomenal records before moving on to other things. But I never forgot the impact their second-album attitude had on me.
And I never forgot the lesson learned: Don’t despise what brought you to this place.
Sometimes it can be very, very hard to lay aside something that has worked well for us. When we finally do, however, we see that what God has next is infinitely more wonderful! We wonder why we chose to cling to the old for so long. And we forget that the old really was perfect for its time.
We begin to despise the old. The old friendships. The old responsibilities. The old connections. The old books. The old songs. The old whatever…it’s all just old.
But where would we be without the old?
God uses each phase of life to accomplish His great purpose. Every stage is beautiful. Every stage is important. How can we despise what God orchestrated?
There are old things in my life that I look back upon fondly. I do not regret them. Sometimes I miss them. Other times I am thankful that God moved me forward, just as I am thankful that He had me there at the time.
Other things I do not miss. Stages of life that were not what I would have preferred. Or, even if they were good at the time, they did not end as I would have hoped. So, while the experience was sweet, the aftertaste turned bitter.
But both sets of experiences brought me where I am today. Both have been used by God to shape me and grow me. Both are critical. And neither need to be despised.