And he [Jesus] said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:52).

In my home town one of the main streets is called “Dawson Road,” because, uh, it goes to Dawson, GA. (Go figure.) But even though no one knows it as “new” Dawson Road, that’s in fact what it is, because there is the old way we used to get to Dawson, known for some reason now as “Old Dawson Road.” The two intersect about two miles from the house where I grew up.

As I headed back to Mississippi from a recent visit, I crossed the intersection of Dawson and Old Dawson, and as I did, my car’s odometer turned over to 150,000 miles. This has to mean something, I said to myself. Old and new, a significant mile marker, journeying home…. I was bombarded by archetypes right there in my SUV!

This experience reminded me of why I keep saying life is sacramental, revealing grace through ordinary things. Who of us has not come to a crossroads, an intersection of two options, and had to decide whether to try to balance the two or come to some synthesis? Maybe we chose one, then found out that wasn’t so great, and had to backtrack on the road to try again with a different direction. Could be we found that those old and practiced ways of thinking and those deep and abiding attitudes of the heart and spirit stood us in good stead in a new situation. Perhaps the new and trendy and bright and shiny continually attracts us, and we don’t look back.

And what of those mile markers that come along every year? I’ll pass a significant one in a few months. We think, too, of those other times when the numbers scroll over to a new, remark-worthy figure, as it were: the death of someone we love, the departure of a child for a life of his or her own with a partner, retirement, being elected to a position of influence, getting and starting a new job….

I believe God is creative and imaginative enough that no matter what our choices   and whether there are 200 or 200,000 miles on our odometer, he still manages to grace us with his presence and power. Thanks be to God.

© 2012 Tom Cheatham. All rights reserved.