This past Wednesday was the start of a new school year in the district I live and work. I was in several unique positions to observe the emotions of that significant day. In the morning I went out for a run and the course takes me by an elementary school in our neighborhood. It so happened on my return trip the students were showing up for their first day. Since I am not the fastest runner in the world, I had opportunity to observe some of the parents who brought their children to school. I could easily tell the parents of kindergartners because they were walking slowing away from the school and a few tears were shed. I could also easily tell the parents of the older students who had been through this before. They were almost skipping through the parking lot with smiles on their faces, high-fiving each other and making plans to celebrate the first day of school. There were new beginnings going on everywhere!
When I went to work that afternoon the shock waves of the beginning of a new school year were even more evident. There were students (and even a few new teachers) who were lost and needed directions to get to where they wanted to be. The younger students were smiling and enjoying their new beginning (although I could tell some were missing their Mommy), but some of the more veteran students were already counting the days until Christmas break. I believe this held true with some of the staff also. One only had to witness the chaos of the first day of school dismissal time to realize that this is a new beginning!
I don’t know about you, but I face new beginnings constantly. I either attempt to stop doing something I want out of my life or start something I want in my life. Often it is just an attitude adjustment and a life-style change. The one consistency I have found is that new beginnings are not easy. As humans we are creatures of habit. We get comfortable with the status quo. And when we change something fundamentally that is part of us, we take risks. “What will my family and friends think?”, “This is going to be tough!”, “It’s what I have always known.” Believe me, from personal experience, there are plenty of excuses to go around!
One of the most beautiful things when a person gives their life to Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is that while yes, it is a new beginning, we have the promise recorded in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” This is not a “hall pass” that everything will be perfect in our lives, but rather it is a comfort that we do have a new beginning and our past failures have been erased.
I daily look for the “new things that have come” through the blessing and power of God. My new beginnings, while still a challenge, are obtainable but I have to have my skin in the game. I am unfinished but press forward with confidence with new beginnings because I know I am not doing it alone.