Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beginnings . . . and Endings

Not long ago I read a statement many of us should take to heart:Nobody can start a new beginning, but you can start today and make a new ending.”

I don’t remember the quotation’s source, but virtually all of us can look in the rearview mirror of our lives and see things we wish we could change. Some of us would like a fresh start, a clean slate, a complete “do-over.” Maybe star on a new reality show, “Extreme Do-over: Life Edition.”

Unfortunately, no one can do that. Time machines haven’t been invented (although writers like H.G. Wells have imagined them), so we can’t go back and try to fix past wrongs. Even if there were time machines, who knows if we could rectify anything?

Actions and decisions of days and years gone by are set, and sometimes consequences remain – accumulated debts, broken relationships, damaged health, disrupted careers. We can’t just go back to “START” and try again.

But we can determine today to create a new ending, one that looks very different from the way things seem to be heading.

Forgetting what lies behind, we need
to envision how our finish line should look.
Physically, we can stop procrastinating and undertake that exercise program we’ve been thinking about. We can start eating better. If necessary, we can start following the doctor’s orders.

Relationally, we can try to rebuild relationships. We can apologize, or ask forgiveness. We can dedicate the time and energy needed to bring about healing and reconciliation.

Financially, we can make an honest assessment of where we are, where we would like to be, and determine what steps are necessary to get there – even asking for help if needed.

Vocationally, we can quit complaining about our present job status and explore ways for making improvements, even if it means changing careers. It might require taking a risk, stepping outside our comfort zone – especially if that “comfort zone” is spelled MISERY. We can begin learning what we need to know, whether through books, online study, being mentored, or attending classes.

And some of us need to start today and make a new ending spiritually. That’s often the important first step in making the changes already mentioned. The curse of humanity is we all want to be our own gods. We want to determine our own destiny, captain our own ship, apart from God’s scrutiny and involvement. But when life is spiraling out of control, maybe we need to ask ourselves, “How’s that working for you?”

The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This says we can have a new beginning – spiritually – and receive the assurance of a new ending.

If you have experienced this, you already understand. If you haven’t, maybe today is your day to start making a new ending.

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