Friday, November 16, 2012


"And I know I shouldn't care,
if I'm out, 
or if I'm in. 
'Cause if I am dismissed,
Oh, You always take me in..."

I remember the first time I really thought about the concept of obsolescence.   And what it meant to be obsolete...a word that means: "no longer current, fresh, functional, or useful; outdated."   
Carol and I were walking through the basement of the publishing house -- a cavernous space filled with cases of books.  She explained that in quantifying the value of our product line, we had to take into consideration an "obsolescence factor."   

It was a term I wasn't familiar with as a school teacher and administrator.  I must have looked like a deer in the headlights.  She went on to explain:

Books that could no longer be sold -- either because of an outdated design, unincorporated editorial changes, or deteriorated physical condition -- were depreciated.  The decreased worth of those books, factored into the overall valuation of our inventory. 

No wonder, that as an educator, I didn't get it.   Thank goodness. 

At the time, it made me sad.  I loved those books.  I loved their dated covers, the smell of old paper, the crackle of dried bindings.  I wanted to take them all home and put them on shelves so they would feel loved.  The ideas in those books were timeless.  How could timeless ideas ever be outdated to the point of being devalued. 
Sara's song, "Obsolete," makes me smile today, but there was a time, not so long ago, when this was one of my biggest fears.

To think that there could come a day when I was not fresh, youthful, standing on the edge of a new idea.  It terrified me. 

I didn't mind having a faded "cover," antiquated fonts, or crackly paper...but please, oh, please don't let me become editorially passé.

Praying with Mary Baker Eddy's:

"Immortal Mind feeds the body
with supernal freshness and fairness,
supplying it with beautiful
images of thought"

I have discovered that in the kingdom of heaven there is no obsolescence.  We can never be outdated since God is the only Mind.  And this Mind is omni-present -- always in the present.  It is constantly refreshing the environment of consciousness with Its most current ideas, concepts, insights.  

In this atmosphere of Mind, there is, as Eddy assures us, "supernal freshness and fairness."  

But its not enough to claim that I my thoughts -- no matter how humanly mature I am -- are supernally fresh and fair, youthful and current.  I have to also look at the attending truth about "children." 

As part of her definition of Children. in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Eddy states:

"God's thoughts, 
not in embryo, but in maturity"

And elsewhere, in speaking of mental vitality, she writes:

"Man is God's reflection,
needing no cultivation,
but ever beautiful and complete."

So, here's the deal:  If I want to be able to claim my freedom from obsolescence -- and experience the attending spiritual freshness I long for -- I also have to accept my freedom from any false sense of personally cultivated inspiration, maturity of insight, or experiential hierarchy.   

Neither obsolescence for me or immaturity for my children, my neighbors, or you...I think this is the perfect recipe for universal and supernal freshness, fairness...and wisdom. 

But I think I'll keep the white hair.  I've waited for it since I was in my twenties, and I like it.

offered with love...


[photo credit: Samantha Hopple, Summer 2012]

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