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Put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.
Colossians 3:10

My grandparents sacrificed and risked everything to come to America. They tried to get visas from the immigration bureau in Czechoslovakia  after World War I, but were repeatedly turned down. They were told that the quota was filled.

My grandmother took matters into her own hands and obtained visas for the two of them by bribing the immigration bureau clerk! The visas were only for six months, so my grandfather traveled to another city to see his cousin, who was a detective, and arrangements were made for them to stay in the United States permanently!

The adventure began. Grandma and Grandpa traveled by a small ship which took nine days.  They settled in a suburb of Chicago with a large bohemian population and were able to shop at traditional Czech bakeries and butcher shops. There were several restaurants that offered traditional Czech meals like they were accustomed to having. It was like living in Czechoslovakia, but without the oppressive communist government. Times were hard for many years, but they had made a new life in America.

Was it really a new life or merely the same life in a new location?  Grandma and Grandpa lived in the Chicago area for about fifty years. They managed to get along without having to learn a lot of English, or change many of their ways of life. When my family visited them we couldn’t talk about much of anything. We just smiled a lot and exchanged a few pleasantries. How I would have loved to hear all their stories firsthand.

Similarly, Colossians 3 contrasts our old self (v. 9) and our new self (v. 10). We are to lay aside the old and put on the new. Just as it is not fitting for a butterfly to crawl around on the ground like the caterpillar it used to be and not ever use its new wings, it isn’t fitting for us as new creatures in Christ to continue living in our former ways. The old ways seem more familiar and comfortable but so much is missed by not putting on the new.

Heavenly Father, may I be mindful of continually laying aside my old ways of thinking and habits so that I may keep putting on the new self with new thoughts and actions.
Karen Sims

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