What New Thing is Next?

It seems that much of the human experience…

Gravitational WavesIs all about what’s new now, and what’s new to come, tomorrow. New and improved products are hawked hoping we buy, try and like better than the old. Every year, new car models are introduced with either a subtle flair of difference, or a strikingly remake of the prior years. Restaurant and grocery stores re-fresh their appearance periodically.

It seems we are not content with the same, being the same, year in and year out. Otherwise, that 2003 Dodge Ram Diesel Truck of mine with nearly 300,000 miles would be the same model sold on the showroom floor today.

No… It seems we are never satisfied.

Part of the reason for change is that technology and ability is constantly changing. Engine design, technology, fuel consumption, fuel styles… Always improving.

Computers are easily replaced with the bigger and better every few months. So, I buy with the intent of 3-6 years productivity and then I have to “upgrade” to take advantage of higher speeds, larger data storage units, and the ability to run normal everyday software that requires more and more out of the box!

Why the hunt for things new? Why can we not be happy with what we have?

I read a post this morning about a man who has taken a pastorate of a church that went through some horrible and internal political struggles a few years ago. The attendance went to nearly nothing. The bi-vocational pastor has barely enough time to make a living and assist the few remaining folks out of their funk. No one is interested in change or growth! They even refused a nearly free hot water delivery system in the restrooms – if it helps people want to come then we don’t want it and we don’t need it…

100 years ago, Einstein predicted the existence of ripples in space, now known as gravitational waves. It was part of his general theory of relativity. Astronomers, astrophysicist and many other people with their heads high in the heavens are excitedly talking about this new thing that confirms the old theory of 100 years ago.

It seems it’s taken this must time to really find out
what the smart guy knew 100 years ago.

It’s something new, but really part of something old. Older than anyone I know can remember. As a result of two black holes colliding, a gravitational wave began sweeping outward and periodically passes through our galaxy. So cool! Read the NPR article here. It’s not overly technical and has some really great explanations.

Why the interest? In short? It seems like many of our advancements are really simple improvements on things that have been around for a while. There’s been nothing really “new” that is this big in a really long time. One astrophysicist said it is once in a life time event. That rare!

Remember Solomon’s “there’s nothing new under the sun” statement?

That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 NKJV)

Come to find out, there is something new that’s not under the sun! Even God said to Israel,

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.  (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV)

Coming out of the wilderness came John the Baptist, teaching a new message. And when Jesus began his ministry, this became a common style question.

Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”  (Mark 1:27 NKJV)

Even the Apostle Paul dealt with this thirst for something new.

For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: (Acts 17:21-23 NKJV)

The Athenians spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear, some new thing… They were hungry for the new stuff. Their energy and time was devoted to it! It says nothing of what they knew, except, they had monuments and objects of worship to every conceivable god they had ever heard of. Even one to the “Unknown God” – the one they wanted to honor even if they did not know him now.

Over the past several days I’ve expressed thoughts about our past, a back story is what I called it. If we are ever to improve and be ready to handle the new things that are constantly knocking on our doors, then we have to come to grips with the things of our past. If God is going to do a new thing, it will be through the wilderness of our past – you know, the things you wish never to address again.

Think about the new things we are facing in life, and what past things have we not yet dealt with. A student wanting to learn the new things must stand on the shoulders of past learners and teachers. Nothing can be accepted as fact and normal. Each must learn. And much of that learning comes from the old things behind us.