Brick of Old
July 2, 2016
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We recently built a small house in Mexico at Refuge Ranch, home to our daughter and her family. When our Mexican mason, Marco, was building the brick walls, I handed him an old brick I had retrieved from the ruins of a nearby hacienda. The hacienda was built at least a couple of hundred years ago; it was a very old brick! I asked our mason to lay the brick just above the front door of our new house. The house is now finished. As you look at the front door the brick is easy to spot, being a couple of centuries older than the new bricks around it.
I imagine a Mexican mason long, long ago carefully placing this same brick in the hacienda that he and many others were building (the ruins of the hacienda are about a city block in size so it would have taken a lot of builders). Now, these many years later, another Mexican mason had taken the same brick and placed it in a 21st century house!
Mortar holds the old brick among the new for (hopefully!) years to come. Old among the new; it’s a good reminder that “new and improved” isn’t all that should be valued. The “tried and true” also has its place. As a life-long preacher of the gospel (the good news of Jesus) I always sought to be mindful of what the great apostle Paul wrote to some Christians in Galatia, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:8) I didn’t try to preach a new gospel but the old Gospel in a new and fresh way.
This is also why I like to read old books and not just the newly published that’s hot off the press. I figure that books and their ideas that have stood the test of time are worth my time. Organizations and groups need the young with new ideas, but they also need the older folks who have some old ideas that are still good. “Something old, something new” is part of an old English poem that suggests a bride carry both. We should hold to both as well.
Yes, things that are old can have real value. What piece of advice, example, idea, teaching, or Bible verse from your past has been of great value through the years? It would be good to think of some additional examples and let them impact us in a new way. As we build our lives brick by brick with new ideas and experiences let’s remember to incorporate some bricks of old truth!
“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)