Embracing the New

We are in the process of changing the software we use to control images on the big screens in our sanctuary. The new software comes to us highly recommended. Thousands of churches use it. The feature list had all the right things on it. We’ve been using the trial version of this software for just a week,though, and some of us are having second thoughts.

Since this software is better than our old software, why isn’t it easier to use?

What we found this week is that while the new software is capable of much more than the old, it is also more demanding of us. We’ll need to learn a new vocabulary. Everything on the screen is in a different place. We have to (gasp) read the manual. Everyone on our team will have to go through a new training program. There are some things that the old software does that we miss. We wonder how in the world anyone could make this type of software without that simple feature. We wonder if that little thing is a deal-breaker. Do we buy this new software, or do we stick with the old?

Certainly it would be easier to stick with the old. Sure, there are lots of things it won’t do, but it’s easy to learn and we’ve gotten used to its shortcomings. We have workarounds for a lot of things, and we’ve learned to be content with the lower quality video output. After all, this is church and we’re all volunteers. Why should anybody expect perfection?

But I wonder – are we frustrated with the new software because it is lacking in some way? Because we don’t want to work to learn it? Or are we trying to make this new software work like the old?

The new thing is not meant to work like the old one.

Don’t we do this with our walk with Christ? We came to Him because we needed Him. Maybe we thought He would give us a better life here on earth. Then we start walking it out and find that rose petals aren’t falling out of the sky and we’re not content with the way things are anymore. He’s more demanding than we thought. We need to learn a new vocabulary. The answers don’t come from us any more. We need to learn a new way of living. While there are benefits to this new relationship, there are new restrictions as well. God’s standards are high – how can anyone live like this?

What would happen if we embraced the new instead of trying to mold it into the old?

What if we looked at this new software – at this new life – as the only way to do it? Wouldn’t we fight through our misgivings and learn what’s required? Wouldn’t we press through the hard places instead of turning back?

Jesus said, “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”    (Matthew 9:16-18, NKJV)

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Jesus also talked about coming to Him as little children. Children generally don’t have preconceived notions and old habits that are hard to change. They aren’t trying to hold to the old ways, but they eagerly embrace the new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

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