...old things that never change and are always dependable.
My daughter came flying in, hair on fire. She needed the spare car key I keep for her. It’s a modern key that’s not really a key but a ‘fob’ that miraculously opens and starts her car. It’s the latest ‘modern’ invention, designed for ultimate convenience. Keyless Entry they call it. Keyless. Convenient. Mindless. Right.
I hate to be an old fogie naysayer but it’s not really a miracle of modern ingenuity. It’s just yet another thing that depends on a battery that can and will go dead. You can count on that for sure. One can never know when this might occur either. One might be in desperate need to get somewhere and find the keyless key does not work. One might get somewhere just fine and then return to the car only to find that the miraculous, convenient keyless entry system has failed and leaves one stranded for the lack of a tiny battery.
We had a discussion about this. I told her my views on mindless modern innovation. She ever so gently reminded me that I am an old-timer and I need to step into the modern world. She left to go find a battery and I sat quietly counting all the cars I’ve owned and the keys that always worked and never once failed me, unless I misplaced them. But keyless keys can be misplaced as well, you know. Which explains why I am the keeper of my daughter’s spare keyless key.
That got me thinking about other things that have been kicked to the curb for the sake of newness. Things that just work being replaced with things that work until they don’t–usually at the most inconvenient time. Why does that make sense?
We’ve been slowly boiled over the decades, conditioned to believe that new is always better. That things should never be allowed to just continue on and work, for pete’s sake! Some of this conditioning began with the diabolical concepts of ‘planned obsolescence’ and ‘disposable’. The mighty god of commerce figured out that people buy more things and replace what they have sooner when things break and run out of power because mass production made it cheaper to replace something than to repair it. Over time the landfills, burdened with the remains of so much disposable invention, launched a great need for a fabulous ‘new’ concept - reusable/recyclable.
Regardless the trends, at the root of it all we’ve been shaped and reshaped to believe that old is anathema–new and ‘improved’ is the only way to do things.
Fifty plus years ago I took two very difficult to acquire dollars and purchased a Goody hair cutting tool. No batteries needed, just a pink handle that holds a double-edged razor. As usual I had no money so I could not afford to have someone else cut my hair, and as usual, I taught myself, using the pink razor cutter. At the time, razor cutting was the rage. And, of course, the trend faded and blunt cutting became the new style. The beauty schools stopped teaching razor cutting for several decades (until it came back into vogue). But regardless of trend and style I carried on, cutting my own hair, doing my own thing. As usual.
Recently someone complimented me on my hair style and asked who cuts my hair. I just smiled and replied that I cut it myself. This has happened before and the usual response, in elevated pitch,“You cut your own hair?!” I never get over the shock that I might know how to do such a thing. And my pat reply that helps them get over the incredulity is always, “Well, I’ve been cutting my own hair for more than fifty years so those who would know how to cut my hair the way I like it are either retired or dead.”
While that might be funny, here’s the serious point. I am grateful for things that work, even and especially if they are old. Things that only require that my brain be engaged, which, incidentally, means I am grateful that my brain is still working even if not at full capacity.
Every single day I am grateful for the things I know I can count on–for all the things that have and will never fail me. Love of family, genuine friendship, and the Truth of the Word.
Most of all I am grateful for God’s unfathomable love and patience. We need this old reliable truth more than ever now.
ps...in fifty years I’ve only replaced the two edged razor about five times. That’s once a decade. Want to argue with that?