One of my most prized possessions before Camille and I got married was a gaudy, vintage, 1970’s inspired, crushed velvet, flower themed couch. It was the centerpiece in my barracks room, while stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. Many great memories, lodged in the recesses of my brain, have this singular piece of furniture as a backdrop.
The young men that were enlisted with me and I had deep conversations about the meaning of life on that couch (and some crazy silly times too). It was there that a friend would play the guitar. It’s where I would sit to watch television and write poetry. It was there that Camille and I would sit when she came to visit from North Carolina. So much joy, laughter, and heartache happened -- and “the couch” witnessed them all.
I was emotionally connected to “the couch” enough, that when Camille and I drove back across the United States in a Penske Truck after being discharged, we toted it instead of giving it away.
For the first few years of marriage, “the couch” remained a talking piece in our first few apartments. But gradually, over time, and in Camille’s mind before mine, we realized it was time for “the couch” to go.
We took the couch to a yard sale and it sold for $5 before we even unloaded it from the truck. (I knew we should’ve asked for more.)
Andy Stanley, the Pastor at Northpoint Church nails it when he says, “Many great ideas eventually become like old couches.” Some of the great ideas that helped the church make disciples in the 1950’s should be celebrated and fondly remembered. But we also have to be open enough to re-imagine new ways of making disciples in 2019. The Book of Discipline for The United Methodist Church states it this way, “Our forebears in the faith reaffirmed the ancient Christian message as found in the apostolic witness even as they applied it anew in their own circumstances.”
At Unity UMC, we reaffirm the faith that was handed down to us. We celebrate the faith of those who have gone before us. It formed us. And we are also searching for how we might apply this faith anew in our own generation and for future generations. Our goal is the same but our methods will change.
Do you have a similar story about a piece of furniture? Share it with us.