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Old House, New House: A Parable for Life’s Challenges



The family decided to go to the movies. The text from the neighbor came in the middle of the movie, “Your house is burning. The firefighters are here. Come home now.”


When the family arrived, they fell to their knees in despair. “What will we do now?” they sobbed. The panic threatened to overtake them.


Nothing was salvageable.


“This house is us. And now it’s gone,” the daughter lamented.


The family was distraught to abruptly lose their beloved house that way. They each mourned in different ways. While the two daughters cried for their lost pets and belongings, the parents prayed for guidance and support.


Before long, neighbors, friends, and strangers began to arrive in droves to help the grieving family.


After a cleanup process and period of healing, the time to rebuild finally arrived. The family worked together to design their new house. As they collaborated, they remembered all the ways in which the old house didn’t work for them. They corrected the flaws in the old house’s design and created new spaces, straight from their imaginations, that excited them.


The old house had foundation issues. The family sought the expertise of industry leaders and built the new house upon a sounder infrastructure.


The old house was dark and the rooms were closed off from each other. The new house had an open floor plan and was full of windows that let in lots of natural light.


The old house was cluttered with junk accumulated from their turbulent past. The new house was furnished with only things that sparked joy and breathed new life into their spaces.


The old house was always too hot or too cold. The new house was energy efficient, and the temperature was steady.


The old house held many dark memories that bred chaos and disconnection within its walls. The new house was replete with promises for rebirth, as the family had finally learned the true value of all things.


Neither house, the old nor the new, could provide the family with the peace and happiness they craved, for that can only come from within. The family now knew that and didn’t burden the new house with that expectation. The new house was simply a place to unite, grow, inspire, and create.


The old house, as it turned out, was not them, and they were not gone, as the daughter had feared.


They built the new house to support them in ways the old house couldn’t, and they enjoyed the comforts of that support, but they never again looked outward for what can only be found inward.


When they first entered the new house, the family fell to their knees and wept in gratitude. “Thank you, God, for this new beginning,” they prayed. From that day forward, they gave thanks for the fire that had taught them so much and for the new house, in all its grandeur, that arose from its ashes.

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