Tugging the leash so hard her collar dug into her throat, producing gasps and pants and a stumble from her owner, the Border Collie smelled her way up the last block on their nightly neighborhood walk. Stopping only when inconvenient, to smell another shrub, to stare down a rabbit or quail or pigeon; perhaps do some business. Again.
So many times they’d been up and down this street together with their dog. Long ago they stopped noticing the surrounding details as the familiar eroded what used to be new into the mundane. Once in a while though, something smacks the senses, emerges as a new feature, and makes them wonder how long it’s been there. A new car with a new neighbor? Do they not live there anymore? When did that weed-filled yard surrender for good? Why am I noticing it now?
The neighborhood is a living organism; always changing, always alive, and always presenting new information. Yet we mostly ignore, overlook, or even discount the constant evolution of where we live – even when we’re overtly out in it. The Bible is like that, too. It is alive and powerful and teaches us new things at different times. We can walk the same book, chapter, and verse into our memory for years and finally notice a beautiful new meaning has taken up residence there that wants to meet us today. How fantastic it is to discover the new again within the familiar. But that fresh perspective rarely blooms if you don’t often take the walk.