In this ever-updating era, we tend to expect renewals now and then in our lives. We want something new to happen so that life appears more diverse than yesterday. We desire something upgraded so that we are not behind the latest trend. Like many people in my age, I fell into the pit of refreshing my life with new things recently.
A new phone
My old phone had been operating well for about eight years, but it responded rather slowly this year. It’s still acceptable if it’s only for personal use, as I’m not a heavy phone user. However, as more and more work communications are shifting to mobile, a well-functioning phone means higher work efficiency. Hence, I decided to purchase a new phone after a thorough consideration.
Needless to say, my life was renewed at a certain level with this new phone, which brought conveniences that I haven’t enjoyed before. No more downtime when multiple applications are running at the same time, no more spotty images during family face time, and no more concerns for a dead battery when I have no access to a power supply.
However, conveniences come with a price. The handier the new phone is, the more I’m inclined to play on it. The time and attention I spent on this new phone almost doubled. It took me about six hours to have the new phone set up in the first day, plus the extra time that I spent in playing on it each day. It consumed more time and energy than simply having my old phone replaced.
My next newfound item looks less harmful. I only wanted to buy some new shirts as summer is just around the corner. I browsed one after another on a mobile shopping app when time permitted, attempting to find clothes with the latest style and reasonable price. Hour after hour had been spent unconsciously.
I eventually bought three shirts after elaborate selection and comparison, contemplating that the time was not wasted. I pictured the “new” me wearing those clothes, as they were winging their way to my apartment. They will surely be as glamorous as they are displayed. I will surely look different this summer. I will reply humbly and gently when others compliment me on my new look. Oh, how I wish the summer will come soon!
My fantasy was broken by the actual products I received. They looked gorgeous in the picture, but quite different when I put them on. The texture was not as delicate as presented, the color was darker, and the neckband was too small. The countless time I invested was in vain. I couldn’t tell you how disappointed I was.
The genuine renewal
When reflecting on my recent experiences, I unwittingly put my focus in the wrong places, no wonder the results were disappointing. I could try all the new things, but none of them grant me true refreshment. External things bring fleeting changes outwardly, while the authentic renewal always comes within.
Unlike temporary satisfaction and renewal from things, God bring genuine and constant renewal to His people, both inwardly and outwardly. Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4, chapter 21-24).
The new self never comes from outside changes of the old self, but from denying the desire of the old self and calibrating our minds on the truth of God. Phone, clothes and many other outward things wear out soon. The anticipation we placed on them fade away when the new products come up. Thankfully, the truth of God never alters, and it is there to renew us from the inside out. Most importantly, there is no side effect and it utterly does you good, which lasts to eternity.
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html