One year, I received a gift, which required me doing two things that both irritated me and stoked the fires of my impatience. First of all, I was required to read instructions and carefully assemble this gift. That was bad enough. But to make matters worse, the instructions were vague—and weighted with technical jargon.
Second, finding a place to put the gift required moving stuff around in my office. I actually had to remove an item that had ornamented my wall for a long time. It had to be put out of the way to make room for this new object. As the process began to consume more time than I could afford, I found myself frustrated and angry. But even as my ire rose, a still small voice inside me also rose to speak:
You’re getting old, Jack. Old and inflexible. You don’t want to learn anything new, and you don’t want to change anything settled!
Ouch! I winced and stopped to talk to Jesus. He was pinpointing a fact of my personal, mundane experience, and—He said to me—held the portent of an attitude beginning to warp my spiritual life. I repented. It was good for me.
Gently, the Lord reminded me of His words in Revelation 21:5: “Behold, I make all things new.” As I pondered this passage, it struck me that the Lord Jesus was not only making a prophetic promise, He was also asserting an ongoing policy. To keep moving with a living Body—and His Church is supposed to be that—you and I are vulnerable to the spiritual experience of a biological fact. I am told by physicians the human body renews itself every seven years. All of the body’s cells renew in seven-year cycles—or less.
Through my years of walking with Jesus, I’ve discovered He keeps me in a permanent state of transition. I’ve learned a little about the potential for joy when you allow the Holy Spirit to keep “flex” in your soul. I don’t want to become stodgy. Unshapeable. Inflexible. The ongoing working of the Spirit in my life—and yours—will keep us “hanging loose.”
Someone reminded me of those things just the other day. “Blessed are the flexible,” my friend said, “for verily, they shall not be broken.” I like that. I might even have someone prepare it in calligraphy and frame it for my wall. Even if it means moving something else.