Brand New – (Ben Rector)
I learned something this weekend down in Brookhaven, MS, as I followed the green St. Augustine covered trail leading to the old wooden door to the shed behind my grandmother’s home Well we called it the “junk house”…it’s carried that name ever since I was little boy. Memories began to surface as I reached out my hand for the door. I could still remember just the way the old round door knob turned, just like the photo above. It’s one of those old door knobs that move in every direction when you grab it, the kind that feels like at any moment it could just fall out…but over the years it never has…do you ever feel like that? My heart has felt like that over the years. But really we just need something there don’t we…we need something to hold our hearts in the right place. No matter how old we get or what we go through we need a haven, a refuge for our hearts. The heart is the hinge swinging doorway to how we see everyone, how we love other people, but it’s also the doorway to everything other people see about our own lives.
As I opened the old door to the junk house I could start to smell the old wood, I could feel the wooden floors beneath me that would sink just a little as you walk over them. The walls and shelves full of old tools…the filled mason jars hanging from the ceiling…you even get a slight claustrophobic feel as you walk through the junk house…you can almost sense the feeling that everything around you used to have such life to it…I always have this feeling that my grandfather is still there with me sometimes. And as my grandmother walked through it behind me she began to tell her stories and the stories of my childhood spent there in that junk house. Suddenly the junk house didn’t seem so junky anymore…the way she tells it made everything seem so new…She told me that me and my grandfather would always go out to the junk house and make things together, we would take his old things, use his old tools, and from his old junk house we would make something brand new together. As we walked out together and shut the door I looked up and saw this old plate on the outside of the junk house…It said “Bless This House”. It was the first time I had ever noticed it…God has definitely blessed my life…even when I think I don’t deserve any happiness, He gives me new happiness everyday. There were times when a certain drug clouded my life and it made it difficult for me to notice God in my life, to notice how he still was watching over me…He was there. He has always helped me and I want to remain faithful to Him and His promises. This weekend was just a great weekend with my grandmother. On Sunday morning at the breakfast table, the morning we were leaving, we were talking about those junk house memories again and she said “Well things aren’t always what they used to be…but not everything will have the same value that it does to other people…but if you keep everything up and treat it like it’s brand new then when you get ready to trade it in it will be very valuable…it will be in good shape!”
What did she mean by this? Was she talking about how to prepare our hearts everyday? Is it possible to wake up everyday, and make a new heart of love for each other? Are there times when we feel like maybe we have too many bad habits to love someone else? How do we take these old feelings, the old life and make something new? In the times that are becoming a daily challenge in our country, how can we have a new desire to help each other every single day? What if I told you it’s possible that no matter how old you live to be, your heart never has to age? Would you believe that?
“I feel like windows rolled down, new city, streets and cabs. I feel like anything can happen, laughing, you take me right back, when we were kids…Never thought I’d feel like this. Like when I close my eyes and don’t even care if anyone sees me dancing. Like I can fly, and don’t even think of touching the ground. Like a heartbeat skip, like an open page. Like a one way trip on an aeroplane.
It’s the way that I feel when I’m with you, brand new…brand new.”
Ben Rector is an American musician born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his freshman year at the University of Arkansas he wrote a song that won the Grand Prize in the pop category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2006. He is the youngest person ever to win the award for the pop category. Rector is a Christian but wanted to be a secular music artist. When asked about his faith and his music, Rector says, “It plays a big role in the way I write and the reasons I write…I also really value the freedom I have as a Christian that’s an artist but not necessarily a Christian artist…I think it can be hard to express certain things about faith when there are a pretty specific set of expectations around what you need to talk about and how you’re talking about it…”
Ezekiel 36:26 | I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
One thing that people get scared of today is the thought of aging, nobody wants to become old, we all want to remain young forever right? Well your heart never has to age…My grandmother is in her nineties now…but everyday she really does wake up with a brand new heart. The heart that God is talking about in this verse has no age to it! Because if you believe in God he gives you an everlasting life. Do you see what I mean? Maybe you have a junk house in your life…maybe you feel surrounded by the things in it, maybe it gets claustrophobic at times. But you can use that junk! My past is full of it…but I am trying really hard to take these bits and pieces of it and trying to use the right tools in my life to help make something brand new…I just pray that I remain faithful. But even when I fail I promise you I know for a fact that my heart (my doorknob) will always remain strong. Because I have faith. So use your old life and even your new life as a testimony to help other people. Love each other…it’s so simple sometimes that we just make it difficult. I learned how to make it easy again this weekend down in Brookhaven. Tomorrow is not promised to us at all…I want my heart to have value and I want it to help people. Just like that sign above the old junk house God is there to help you. Even if it takes you more time to realize it, don’t worry He will still be there if you remain faithful to Him. He will help hold everything in place even when you think your life is about to fall apart. He can and He will bless your house and give you a new heart each day to love other people. Even yourself. He is the “I AM” and can take any junk and turn it into something new. God takes your old things, your old junk house, and He makes all things brand new. He brings His spirit to give you life. He will give you a heart in the haven. Let other people feel that heartbeat, tell them about your “junk house” and then tell them about your brand new = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
(Listen below to Brand New by Ben Rector)
(Feature post photo by Nick Tiemeyer)
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