Monday, October 20, 2008


I admit to being influenced by television. I have seen those shows on HGTV that "make-over" an entire apartment in two days. I've observed their formula for getting things done. Sorting, organizing, and changing the decor, achieves the desired results. We are doing that with the apartment on our property and it will soon be transformed. I guess I like make-overs because I feel like they are a reflection of real life.

How many times have we approached a problem differently than we would have ten years ago? How many times have we been surprised by how we handle a situation with more patience and thoughtfulness as we have gotten older? An Unseen Hand has been carving away immaturity with so much tenderness and mercy that the transformation might be missed. Then life's pressures tests us, and we discover we have changed. That has occured in my life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, and the wisdom that comes from knowing God. Like the apartment, I'm being transformed.

Many of the things we have done in the apartment reflect a transformation in Paul Burton as well. When he first moved into the apartment he was just beginning college, and his apartment was a hang-out for playing video games, and hosting youth group activities. Back then it didn't matter to him if a broomstick was used as a sword and went through the ceiling. The holes have been patched and painted. This afternoon, I went through the little cedar chest in the apartment and sorted all the favorite stuffed animals that have been kept all of these years. I found Pound Puppies, Lamb Chop, and The Cat in the Hat. The memories swooped in like a flock of Chickadees. They were cheerful, light, and fleeting, as I sorted quickly in order to stay on task. The stuffed animals belonged to children who dragged them around the house long ago, and those days are gone. I put away a few stuffed toys for the next generation. Qavah snatched up Curious George, and the rest are headed to the Goodwill Thrift Store. Paul Burton is parting with his 30-shot Nerf machine gun, and has made room for his expresso maker instead.

Through the transforming power of God, when we are called upon to change, grow, and mature, the end result is like that of the apartment; less clutter, more clarity, and a fresh way of looking at things.