called the Land of Beginning Again
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches
and all of our selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat by the door
And never be put on again.
God is a god of New Beginnings.
I’ve heard that all my life.
Everywhere I go, every church I’ve engaged, every sermon I’ve heard has – in some way – been a call to start over. To pick up the old me and turn it around. To start from scratch. To commit again. To renew my life of faith.
And I hardly ever do it.
Scriptures tell us that God’s mercies are new every morning. I take that to mean that God starts all over with us every day. Every day the old stuff is gone and God offers new mercy to us.
If the Creator of the Universe can start over every day, why is it so hard for me?
I know the obvious answer: I’m human. I am stuck in the rut of my own life. To quote a friend, I look up to my God every day and say, “God, where were you when I got myself into this ditch?” And God looks at me and smiles - the way a parent always does when a child asks a ridiculous question - and says, “I was right here. Give me your hand and I’ll help you out.” “No,” I say, “It’s too hard. I don’t like it here, but I’ll just stay anyway.” “Ok, well, when you’re ready to listen, I’ll be here to help.”
I’ve said these things to countless kids. I know the defiance of a child. But what is so ridiculous about my adult life of faith is that I want what God offers! I’m just too stubborn to do a single darn thing about it.
When I think about my life, I realize that my opportunities for new life, for new beginning, occur approximately 418 times a day. Every time I get frustrated, I can choose – will I respond with Christ-likeness or will I not? Every time I am hurt or sad, I choose – will I respond with mercy or vengeance? As I sit on the threshold of some obvious new beginnings, I forget to remember the little ones. As I pray about “the big things” in my life, the little things seem too trivial to consider with God – I’ll figure those out myself. But the more I make the time to pray, the more I hear God calling me to pray. “Choose me,
I want to be the best
“Just take my hand.”
It seems the easiest of new beginnings are always the hardest.