The old house story
I drove to town today to get groceries. My four-year-old grandson accompanied me. We chose to take a picturesque route. The farmers’ fields sporting the typical colors of the harvest season attracted our attention. The blue sky illumined the way before us.
I have taken this road to town for many years. During that time much has changed and much has remained the same. The things that change seem to invite our notice. The scenes that remain the same escape our detection.
Lately, an old farmhouse I have passed by many times began to capture my attention. For years it displayed peeling paint on its clapboard siding and its broken windows. The internal wounds to the house’s structure were not apparent to the casual onlooker.
For a very long time the old house added to the normal scenery that escaped notice. But recently, the telltale sagging of the roof and the leaning of the walls gradually began to tell the story of its coming final demise. How soon it would fall was anybody’s guess.
As my grandson and I went by I slowed the car so that I might explain to him what he was looking at. “Do you see that old house over there?” I asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“That old house is going to fall down.”
“Why?” he queried.
As we continued to drive down the road I explained, “That old house had people living in it a long time ago. They loved that house and took care of it. But after a long time, no one cared for the house any longer. Nobody took time to fix it up when things got worn out. Parts on the outside of the house got broken down, and they just stayed that way.”
My little grandson inquired, “But why? How come it is falling down?”
“Some of the things on the inside are broken now, too. We could not see that before, but now we can. The roof is swaying, and the walls are not straight anymore. That tells us that things on the inside are not right either.”
“That is really sad,” he replied.
After getting our groceries, we drove back the same way to see that old house one more time. The destruction going on in the inside contributed to the building’s downfall. The loss of this old house’s usefulness to anyone was easy for us to see.
It brought to my mind the lyrics of a well-known song by Stuart Hamblen, “This Old House.” It helps paint a picture for us. “This old house is getting shaky. This old house is getting old. This old house lets in the rain. This old house lets in the cold.”
The chronicle of this former dwelling place can show us some principles. Our bodies can be compared to an old house. The outward appearance can begin to be weakened and to decline which is a natural process of aging. But if the inside is not cared for and renewed the building will become a ruin.
Taking care of the inside of our houses (our inner beings) keeps us from the danger of decay and destruction. The inner soul of our being is worth repair and renewal. In the Holy Bible, II Corinthians 4:16 (NKJV) states, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
And how is this renewal done? Romans 12:2 (NKJV) tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The renewed mind is not conformed to this world but is transformed by the Word of God.
Once my grandson and I returned home, he had the sad Old House Story to tell. Looking at life through the eyes of a young child can open our adult eyes to experience deeper wisdom and understanding of the practical truths in life.