New Years Day. 2014.
Last night we ate dinner while watching a movie about a girl who wanted to be an engineer and make racing cars. After the movie finished we all hung around and chatted. We started off talking about what the kids could ‘be when they grew up’ and what might happen in the future. The general consensus was that they would like to discover or invent or make new things like their Dad. But I mentioned that they could study and learn from History like their Mum, because, as I was quick to point out “nothing is really new under the sun” The kids wanted to know what I was talking about.
Unknown to the kids and I, Nathan had already planned to talk about that as a family.
So he continued the discussion. “Well, it’s a new year tomorrow, a year ago, we were still living in New Zealand, Can you kids think of anything that we’ve done, or that has happened that was ‘new’ this year?”
Miles jumped in first, “Yes, We have done more art this year. We painted some canvases and we did some glass painting and some other things too”
“Oh, and we have more toys than we’ve ever had before” Tiggy put in.
“Well, not really Tig, but I’m glad you’re happy with what you have. What else was new this year, that we’d never done before?”
“I know! We did some big jigsaw puzzles”
“True, we did.” Nathan and I smiled at each other. This conversation wasn’t really going the way we imagined “What about our family?”
Tiggy’s eyes widened “OH!” she said and pointed “Ezra”
“Yeah, Ezra was born, He’s new in our family.” Maybe we’re getting somewhere “What else?”
“We had a real Christmas tree for the first time, with a star on top” Said the star maker.
Maybe we weren’t.
“Yes. That’s right, but why was it our first real Christmas tree.”
“Because it was our first Christmas in France and it was winter”
“Yes, in fact” Nathan said with emphasis “this year is the first year we’ve been in France! That’s something new! What else? Tiggy, what about somewhere that you really wanted to go to in New Zealand, but you had to wait ’til you were 5, but in France you can go?”
“I don’t know”
Miles asked “Mum, do you know the answers to these questions?” Perhaps we were trying to guide this conversation too much.
“Yes I do” I said with a smile and pointed out, “Daddy has a new job this year. What do you do during the week?”
“Go to school! I didn’t go to school in New Zealand”
“That’s right, and Miles, What’s the biggest difference about school in France?”
“It’s in French” they chorused.
Woohoo! I think we’ll call this exercise a success.
“So this year we’ve done lots of art, moved to France, started a new job, gone to a new school, started learning a language, had a baby, put up a real Christmas tree, and done two big jigsaw puzzles, all things that are new. Often we like making new things, and doing new stuff because it gives us purpose, Sometimes it’s scary, because we don’t know what it will be like. But like mum said earlier, the bible says
“What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.”
So are those things we’ve done really new? Are we the first people to move to France, or go to a new school, synthesise a new molecule, learn a new language, have a real Christmas tree or do a jigsaw puzzle?”
“Noooo, they’re new to US, but God knows it all already, He even knows our thoughts before we think them”
Yes, they’re new to us, but why do we do them? Where is the purpose if they’ve all been done before and will all be forgotten in the future. We’re all putting a lot of effort into learning French and learning how to live here. Nathan is learning how to do new things at work, but later this year, we’ll be leaving it all behind. Sure a lot of what we learnt will stay with us, but I’m sure a lot will be forgotten. So why? Well, Miles was right. Because God. We do it, because God told us to. Because it is good for us. Because it is fun, because it teaches us, because it helps to make us into the people we should be, so we can do more of what God has called us to.
Now it is a new year, and again, I’m sure it will be full of ‘new’ things for our family. Once again we enter the New Year with excitement and anticipation, but the purpose? That comes from God.