by Charles R. Swindoll
There is something grand about old things that are still in good shape. Old furniture, rich with the patina of age and history, is far more intriguing than the modern stuff. When you sit on it or eat off it or sleep in it, your mind pictures those in previous centuries who did the same in a world of candlelight, oil lamps, buggies, and potbelly stoves. Each scrape or dent holds a story you wish you knew.
Old hardback books are far more fascinating than today's slick paperbacks. I find it therapeutic to hold in my hands pages that have endured the ages, to pore over lines that other eyes have pondered and other fingers have marked. The authenticity of antiquity thrills me.
Old churches affect me the same way. As you settle into the creaking oak pew, you can hear the pipe organ filling the sanctuary with one of Bach's masterworks. The thunderous voice of the preacher is in the woodwork, and the altar beckons you to be still and know that God is God.
Strangely, such sights and sounds equip us to face our own battles with renewed vigor, for it's the old things—things that have outlived fashions and fads, that have endured wars and recessions, presidents and plagues—that remind us to pause and encourage us to strengthen our roots. These do more than prompt nostalgic feelings; they remind us that we are not alone in this adventurous pilgrimage from earth to heaven. By standing on the shoulders of yesterday, the view into tomorrow is not nearly so frightening.
The Bible is old also—ancient, in fact. Its timeless stories have for centuries shouted, "You can make it! Don't quit . . . don't give up!" Its truths, secure and solid as stone, say, "I'm still here, waiting to be claimed and applied." Whether it's a prophet's warning, a patriarch's prayer, a poet's psalm, or a preacher's challenging reminder, the Book of books lives on, offering us new vistas. It still speaks as it did in the days when reformers heralded hope from strong pulpits, when roughhewn revivalists pleaded for souls in open-air campaigns, when faithful expositors taught saints and lived lives of uncompromising integrity, when rugged missionaries left the comforts of home to carry its message to hostile tribes and foreign climes.
The truths of this old Book have endured in spite of the attacks of its critics and the attempts of the Adversary to silence its message—like an ageless anvil wearing away the hammers.
Though ancient, it has never lost its relevance. Though battered, no one has ever improved on its content. Though old, it never fails to offer something pure, something wise, something new.
By touching something old, something new is stirred within us.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.