Old Fashions, Old Difficulties, New Grace

I estimate that, of the 4000 or so folk at Word Alive, I was one of the oldest 700. Many of those present were university students. In one respect, this is most encouraging. On the other hand, I find students and Sixth Formers especially annoying*. Many of them are wearing 1990s’ fashions: oversized jumpers; slightly baggy, mid-blue jeans; Adidas pumps and centre-parted hair. This is how I dressed as a teenager, and to see these whippersnappers re-cooling this look makes me feel old. My feet got wet one of the days because my trainers, from the actual 1990s, have holes in them. So beat that, retro-kids! Towards the end of the nineties when I was at university, we dressed as though it were the 1970s: flares, large collars, tight tank tops. Ridiculous, of course, but we thought ourselves cool. Vintage shops selling moth-eaten tat made a killing. Perhaps middle-aged folk then were made to feel as old as I feel now.

In one sense, it demonstrates the foolishness of fashion, which repeats itself in endless, dreary succession. It is also a reminder that all things repeat. Solomon states:

That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Through what you now go, others have been. Against the temptations you face, others have battled. The insults you receive, others have suffered. The heart-ache, the pain, the illness, the grief- none of them are unique to you. For thousands of years, God’s people have been sorely afflicted. So remember that you keep good company and the same grace and power that got them through is just as readily available to you, too.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
* I was Head of Sixth Form at the time of writing...