By Jerry Ousley
"This is the
coolest house ever!" We had been living in a rented apartment in
Kendallville, Indiana. Dad and Mom had purchased a house just a
few blocks away from the complex where we had lived. I don't
remember what they paid for the house but it was a real
"fixer-upper." The outside wasn't so bad but on the inside it
had been gutted. The drywall had huge gaping holes in it to the
point that you could actually walk from room to room without
ever going through an actual door. But to kids it was the
neatest place in the world. It was fun going through the walls!
Today we'd think we were being punished for something bad in our
lives if we lived like that.
There weren't enough fans to go around and we didn't really know what air conditioning was then. We'd put a screen in the window and let Mother Nature cool us with her gentle breezes. The house was really hot because if I remember correctly the drywall was even gone from the ceiling. That of course allowed even more heat into the house.
At first, while Dad spent his every spare second making this place comfortable and livable, we piled our toys in a big heap outside the door and covered them with a tarp or something. Again we didn't view this as a hardship or as being poor because it only meant that our toys were at our fingertips. How many other kids do you know that had their own toy pile right by the door and didn't have to worry about their mother screaming, "Put up your toys!" They were already put up.
We had tricycles and a pedal car and we wore a path in the yard that extended all the way around the house. During the summer we'd spend our days playing in that yard and the woods beside our house. If it had rained some very nice mud puddles formed in front where we could float boats and have all kinds of imaginary fun. When it was dry we'd raise the dust racing around the house on our path. To us life was great at our "new" house.
Many viewed it as a dump. Oh that's not to say that Mom didn't keep it cleaned. She did. And as Dad finished a room things were properly put away and organized. It took several months but soon Dad finished the inside and you couldn't tell that it had been in such bad shape. To tell the truth I have a lot of fine memories about that house and go back there sometimes in my mind. As a child it was hard to understand why they had to do so much work on it. It was very unique the way it was. But it had to be done. It had to be finished so as to keep out some of that smothering heat in the summer and the cold windy blasts in the winter.
That house reminds me of how many choose to live their lives today. While they would never think of living in a house like we started with the house of their souls is in just as bad a shape if not worse. Many live their lives like a house full of holes that are in dire need of patching up.
It doesn't seem that way to them because it's fun. Why fix something that seems to be working? But is it really working? In reality they are living their lives in a dump and don't even realize it. But things can be patched up. 1 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if we have come to Christ then we are a new creation and the old things have been done away with making room for all new things. That's what Christ wants to do for each and every one of us. He wants to recreate us into a brand new person. We may still look the same to the natural eye but when He comes into our lives we are made over again from the inside out. He patches the holes that have been caused by the vandals of the soul. He reworks the ceilings that have been broken through and fills them with new insulation to keep out the intruding weather that brings harm to the soul.
We may think that our old house is a lot of fun. We may enjoy the chaos of our spiritual selves, or at least we think we do. But that's only because we have never experienced the newness of life that only Jesus Christ can give. He offers it to each of us today. All we have to do is to accept it. How about it? Need some new drywall in your life? Try Jesus.
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of three books, "Soul Challenge", "Soul Journey" and "Ordeal." Listen to our daily broadcast Spirit Bread. Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org