The sign in front of the store literally shouted its message – NEW ANTIQUES JUST ARRIVED! I immediately wondered how the items could be called ‘antique’ if they were new. But after a quick glance around the store, it became quite obvious that the store owner had just received a new shipment of antiques. The items themselves were very old and long since rendered useless and forgotten.

For instance, there were gas pumps from bygone days with glass tops that filled up before it was dispensed into your car. Of course, pay-at-the-pump was years from being invented. And there were the usual assortment of antique tables, chairs, lamps, and a couple of old Gulf and Sinclair oil company signs. But the item that caught my attention, and sent me back to Route 4, was an old plow stock.

Yep, leaning up against the side of the store all by itself was one of the single most important  instruments of a way of life long forgotten. It even had a large turn plow still attached to it. The result of years of neglect and exposure to the elements was evident by the amount of rust covering its once sharp edge, something Daddy never allowed back home on the farm.

It was that plow, with the mule providing the power, that opened the ground where the seeds were planted that became food for the Route 4 family. The farmers market concept had not yet been thought of. Well, not like we know it today, anyway. The farmer’s market of fifty years ago was the kitchen table. That’s where the corn, pole beans, maters and taters, and yes, even the okra were consumed. No quick stops or grocery stores to pick up a couple of items on the way home.  

A trip to the woodshed could be earned by being too absent-minded (or in too big a hurry to play ‘scaredy cat’) and leaving the plow outside over night. Experience is a very effective teacher! Waking up in the middle of the night after remembering that you had forgotten to put away your plow and hoe and shovel would prevent any further sleep until you had taken care of the afore-mentioned tools.

I thought about that old antique plow the other day when we received an  email from our good friends, Shirley and Lew Jaynes.  Talk about the old and the new – an old plow and an email in the same old mind! Anyway, Lew has had recent heart surgery. And, according to Shirley’s email, everything went wonderfully and she and Lew are so appreciative of all the prayers offered in their behalf. She said that ol’ Lew is going to be ‘good as new.’ Boy, won’t that be a sight to see! He’ll be square dancing again before we know it.     

Shirley’s email made me think of that verse from Revelation 21:5 where God said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” In my Route 4 way of thinking, that means that God made the heavens and the earth and all that’s in it, but He’s not finished yet. There are still some things in store for us. He’s going to give us new bodies, too. And they won’t be just the ‘new and improved’ version of the old ones. No repaired or restoration jobs in Heaven. Jesus told His disciples that He’s going away to prepare a place for us – a mansion in Glory. And, again this is just me, but I believe that while He’s preparing that place for us, He’s also preparing us  for that place. 

Every new day, new thoughts, new mercies are all new reasons to offer our thanksgiving, or shall I say, ‘thanks-living!’ As we shave or put on our make-up every day, is there something like an old attitude that might be broken or worn out that we need the Lord to make new? He makes all things new.

The Apostle Paul was in bad need of a make over when he met the Lord that day on the road to Damascus. And God gave Paul exactly what he needed – a new mind! And Paul shared that when he was writing to the church at Corinth. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Did you hear that? Not an old one restored, but a NEW creation. The old one is gone and the NEW one has come!

Aren’t you glad that God’s not running an antique store? Right about here would be a good place for a shout or an Amen!

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