This month, may I shine a light on the abundance of new beginnings life offers despite our challenges and daily failures?
Yes, there are broken pieces in our lives that bring painful thoughts and crushing conclusions such as “it’s too late” or “I have no options.” Fortunately, those hopeless assumptions are often proved wrong. Enter the gift of new beginnings, often described with words beginning with the prefix “re”–including reset, recalculate, reframe, reprieve, repeat, repent, and rejoice. These second chances may come in the form of make-up work, a grace period, or simply extra consideration awarded for diligent and prolonged effort. Let’s examine some new beginnings viewed through the lens of abundance.
Reset. New days bring new beginnings. My mind often races at night with problems, tasks, and worries. Amazingly, when the sun rises again, so do my spirits and hopefulness. I love this quote I found on social media, with a variety of interpretations and credits, that points to the power of this new beginning. Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday. Every morning we wake up to the first day of the rest of our life.
Recalculate. New beginnings can emerge from slight course corrections. Just as a plane, train, or ship can get dangerously offcourse by drifting just a few degrees, so can we get back on track to a new beginning with slight corrections in our direction. Those adjustments may be as simple as daily prayer, eating better, smiling more, listening with love, refusing to judge others, or being a peacemaker.
Reframe. Louise and Chris are dear friends, remarried, who were blessed to escape with their lives, wallets, and car keys as a fire completely destroyed their newly-furnished and decorated apartment. In the blink of an eye, they were unhoused, left literally with just the shirts on their backs. When we reached out to them, we were touched by their abundant response to this tragedy.
She said, “All is well. We have lost everything, but we are not lost. We have experienced miracles and blessings along the way. God is great. Our faith and joy has increased.” They mentioned the generosity of friends and family, the perk of ridding their lives of too much “stuff,” and their gratitude for finding a different apartment which they are outfitting with many items from the dollar store.
Reprieve. Years ago, my husband was struggling in a required university course, discouraged by the seeming ease that other students were grasping and applying the core concepts. He could see no outcome except failure in the class and his intended career. His wise instructor saw the chasm separating the two sets of students in the class and offered another alternative. Class members who needed more time and experience were invited to continue to work on the coursework into the next semester. Taken at a slower place with less pressure, he and other students mastered the content and earned good grades, just a bit later than the whiz kids, with this generous new beginning.
Repeat. You don’t have to look far to recognize new beginnings in day-to-day living. We recharge our phone, use the redo/undo computer option frequently, recook the candy gone to sugar, replace a broken plug to give an appliance a second life, retrace our steps to find a lost item, reconnect with a friend or family member, and rethink a question from a new perspective. We watch our bodies regenerate broken nails and bones, heal bruises and scars, adapt to illness and aging, and even regrow to fix that bad haircut.
Repent. We tend to see this as a punishment rather than a new beginning. Pain caused by our own mistakes and sins and our unwillingness to forgive these shortcomings in others can seem unbearable. Experience teaches us, however, that it is simply returning to a path leading to peace and joy. As a woman of faith, I view this as the most generous and joyful new beginning, made possible only through God’s love and mercy.
Rejoice. Take heart that it’s never too late, that love and life continue beyond the grave, and joy is possible as you go forward with faith and gratitude for myriad new beginnings, starting with this first day of the rest of your life.
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