Wind whipped and snapped the flag this way and that. The pole was tall, but the size of Old Glory was so monumental, it wasn’t hard to see. Each gust that blew snapped the flag to attention, and the rope that held it rattled against the pole. Fifty stars watched from a seat of blue while red and white stripes waved, their ends frayed and worn.
This icon flew high over the tops of new and used cars in a lackadaisical way. But nothing about our flag is casual or easy-going. While bombs burst in air, it reminded troops we were still hanging on. When terrorists attacked our nation, it flew to remind us Americans stick together. And when the first African-American was sworn in to the office of president, it flew to remind us that anything is possible in a nation that is free.
So it was no surprise I was insulted when I heard, “They need to throw that flag away and get a new one. It looks awful. That is an embarrassment to our country.” I knew the rules about disposing of old flags. I was aware flags no longer fit to fly were to be burned in a dignified way, but I still bristled at the thought of doing away with the flag just because it was worn a little. Didn’t it earn that right?
Thankfully, the rule for flags does not apply to people. We aren’t tossed aside or even respectfully put away when we are worn on the edges. If so, the only ones not neatly stacked on the shelf would be children. Life has a way of wearing most of us thin around the sides.
Are you feeling like you’ve been whipped and snapped on the pole of daily living? Are you tattered at the ends? Good news! We can all be new in Christ. He takes old things and makes them new again. So stand tall and proud! You may be worn, but you certainly aren’t worthless.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Cor. 5:17 NIV