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Our Culture’s Obsession with “New”

There seems to be something broken in the human condition (especially in America) that obsesses over new things. Maybe it's some kind of divine fingerprint on each of us — something innate that is waiting in anticipation of all things being made new.

Whatever the reason, this obsession with new can be dangerous. We humans tend to be capricious characters, and chasing after the shiniest new toy isn't always the right pursuit for our souls.

Frankly, I like old stuff. I prefer a good ol' used, hardbound book to a brand-new, glossy paperback. I like food that takes a long time to prepare, I enjoy wearing clothes from Goodwill. Growing up, I listened to mostly classic rock music — groups like Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd. Now, I'm drawn to even older blues and jazz from the 40s. I sometimes even turn on the classical station when I'm in the car alone. (Yes, I'm turning into a senior citizen.)

You might say that I have an old soul. Mostly, I consider it a strength. I don't want to have a new soul. I don't want to be obsessed with bigger, faster, and better. I want to give my spirit room to breate and reflect.

I want to go for long walks and watch black-and-white movies. I want to dance with my wife to a big band, not a DJ. When I go to a concert, I want to sit down where I can be comfortable and not have my ears bleed. I want to carry a pocketwatch with a chain and an old money clip wherever I go.

In our culture (and in our lives), we need more of the old and less of the new.

There is just something about taking your time in doing something that makes it more worth it. There is something beautiful about the old ways of doing things. I'm sure of it.

In an age where nearly anything is possible via technology, we need to be careful with our obsession and pursuit of new. We may find ourselves losing the old things that are most important to our humanity.

As the prophet Jeremiah warned: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'"

Find an old way today, and walk in it.