As we walked in a local policeman was coming out. "If you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere," he told us, and I believe he might have been right—assuming you were indeed looking for "old stuff."
The shop area was not huge, but the owner had lined up table after table jammed against each other, and you could walk up and down the single file wide aisles and look at the things he had piled on them and beside them, and in some cases above or below them. We saw huge old ice tongs—the kind the iceman would have used when he brought that block for your icebox. We saw a real scythe. This city girl is not sure she would have known what it was if Keith hadn't told me. There was an old adding machine with what looked like at least 100 buttons on it. A stack of LPs sat next to another of comic books, including the original "Iron Man," and behind them stood a crossbow.
There was carnival glass, Depression glass, candy dishes of every size and shape, and an antique 8 place setting of china for a mere $75. There were pull-up metal ice trays, metal serving trays with painted ads for Coca-Cola, and cast iron implements of every sort. There were old soda bottles, bowls full of old silverware, and Emily Post's Etiquette. A pile of early 20th century sheet music sat next to an ancient accordion. Old dolls with porcelain heads and eyes that close when they recline, sat next to toy trains and model planes, jacks, and tiddly winks. And that's not even the half. One separate room held tools I had never seen, and probably never heard of, in my entire life.
Keith asked the old gentleman about the soda bottles and what he got for them. "Depends on their age," he said. "The later ones go for about $5, and the older ones for up to $25." Each. We have a couple dozen of those $5 bottles ourselves. The kind you used to pay a 10 cent deposit on.
If respect and honor are measured in dollars, isn't it funny, or not, that the same old gentleman could probably walk down any street in our country and not command half the respect those old things in his shop do? And why? For the same reason his "old stuff" does get respect--because he is old. In any other venue, our society wants nothing to do with the old. Even those who are old want nothing to do with it—they do their best to get rid of its evidence with hair color, plastic surgery, and wrinkle cream.
But the Bible is full of commands to respect the elderly—or else. “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. (Lev 19:32)
And more than that it tells us to walk, to live our lives, in the old paths. Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls... (Jer 6:16)
There is much value in old things. But there is even more in older people, and in older ways of doing things—if they are old because they come from the Ancient of Days, a God who has been and always will be, and to whom we owe the utmost glory, honor, and respect—not by shouting, "Hallelujah!" but by obeying his ancient and everlasting word.
“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. (Dan 7:9-10)