I think the first job I ever had is now extinct. Technology has wiped it out.
Once upon a time before computers and desktop publishing ruled the world, I worked in the advertising department of a small-town newspaper.
I used ancient tools like typewriters and X-Acto knives and jars of rubber cement.
I'd leaf through glossy pages of clip-art books, looking for pictures to illustrate my ads.
As the new girl in town I had all the accounts my colleagues didn't want. I mocked up ads for weekly sales at the hardware store, lunch specials at the greasy-spoon diner, and discounts for TV repair.
I knew very little about sales so my style was nonchalant and apologetic.
I’d tell clients I was only asking them to buy bigger ads because my boss wanted me to. This approach must have worked since I was shocked to discover I'd sold the second highest number of ads for our holiday issue, right behind the department’s top saleswoman.
That job wasn't a great fit for me and I eventually quit, but for a long time I kept a little folder of my ads, not realizing they were relics of a bygone era.
Last summer during my art class in Italy, I found myself once again cutting and pasting words and images on to a board.
Except now I was making a travel journal and it was called mixed-media art.
Pictures and words, written on a page or artfully arranged -- they always have been pieces of my story.
But what happens when we lose pieces of ourselves, our work, or our hearts, thinking they are outdated, extinct or worthless?
It's the losses -- of a friendship, a dream, a paycheck, good health, a love or a loved one -- that can knock us off balance so all we see are wilted and worn out days in front of us.
We need the perspective of fresh expectancy for the future and the hope that lovely and delightful things still await, no matter the age or stage of life.
But maybe that's when we're ready for some good news.
Sometimes when we've lost something precious to us, we have to let ourselves be found.
For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.-Ez. 34:11 (NIV)
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Maybe some pieces of what we think we’ve lost along the way during our seasons of life are just lying dormant, waiting to reemerge in a different form.
The revival might cause it to look altered and have a new name but when we take a closer look at what we found, we see it's familiar.
The beauty's revealed, the purpose comes into focus and little flutters of joy stir within us.
We will never completely understand our circumstances and losses in this life, but I think we have to be at ease in the not knowing.
And welcome the restoration of our lives, hearts and minds for the work of something new.
I still think about the march of time and technology, though.
I wonder if all the gadgets we use so faithfully now will someday be as ancient as newsprint and typewriters?
I'm not sure that would qualify as breaking news.
But it just might require quite the artful sales pitch.
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