A New Thing – Christ Church at Grove Farm

A New Thing

A New Thing

By Melissa Elizondo

 

What makes the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob such a compelling God is the very characteristic that used to leave me freaking out like a kid on test day.

He would say things like, “Behold, I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?” And I’d be thinking, “I still haven’t caught onto the old thing yet. Can there be a refresher course?”

Or I’d start to get settled in some place — a certain town, a certain job, a certain way of doing things — and it would all change.

“Behold, I’m doing a new thing.”

Whoa, can we slow down just a little bit? I  just haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

That’s my line and I don’t think I’m the only one.

I’m also a writer because I grew up consuming fiction the way some kids consumed soda. It’s what I love. Or at least, I used to love it. I remember the day I had to stop reading certain fiction because I felt like I’d read that plot line only a million times before. The newness of it all that had been present when I first fell in love with reading began to fade. That fresh sense of exploration vanished in the fires of “been done before”.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

Okay, can You do it in fiction? Can You bring a renaissance to the arts again?

As a writer, I’ve often looked for that new thing. A new way of looking at the world. A new medium to capture something of intense fascination. A new way that would bring back the sparkle that my kids get when they see something as simple as a balloon drifting through the air.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

When Covid hit, I panicked. Looked for toilet paper. Welcomed a new baby girl into the world. Tried to figure out groceries. Watched the news until I had to stop. Tried to reckon with a new way of life. Looked out at a world that changed quicker than a pop up storm. I’m told I’m not the only one still adjusting, but the lost kid at a park feel still pops up and I still feel like I’m. The. Only. One.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

In fiction, a lot of characters get stressed about the way things were always done. They try to learn “the rules” and often find themselves butting heads with them. Howard Roark wants a new kind of architecture. The kids in Dead Poets Society want a way to break out of the old way of doing things. People all like to mention the thrill of “busting out of the same old routine.”

In an uncertain time like this, I consider God doing this new thing fresh. It hits me new not long ago. In a world that is being declared “uncertain” and times being called “unprecedented,” I am staring hard at words of God saying He’s doing a new thing. And maybe it would be like Van Gogh saying, “Seeing that Mona Lisa? Just forget it. Cause I’m going to do a new thing.”

And maybe this God that’s older than the hills is fresher today than I was when I was grinning at grass turned green by rain.

Maybe when I was learning formulas and tried and true methods of how to “get by in life,” God was living freedom and dreaming newness.

Sometimes, when I get comfortable with the way things are, a sense of ennui settles in and I forget that instead of just relying on the way things were done, I can instead look to a God who can still envision that “new thing” and realize that even if I’m liable to get trapped by “this is how it’s always been,” this God is never trapped by dull plot lines, ridiculous precedents and “in the box” thinking.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing.”

And there can still be something that is certain — and fresh — in a world that isn’t — a world often gone stale by the way things have always been.

 

Isiah 43:19

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

 

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