The irony of starting over with this post after a storm interrupted me! But sometimes starting over seems to plague me. I try to get more steps in, but before I approach better shape it seems like I have to start over. Not a few times. All the time. I try to be better in my vocations and it’s the same way. Every school year. Every Lent or Advent. Et cetera.
Honestly, I can get pretty down because of it.
I was thinking about that the other day while I was exercising. In the heat of frustration, I was feeling almost angry that “Here I am and it feels like I’m starting over again!” Except that’s when it struck me, and I was convicted.
We’re Christian. We’re Lutheran. Starting over is what we do! Every morning God’s mercy is new and thanks be to God because of it! EVERY DAY we need His mercy anew! And every day—and frankly much, much more often—God let’s us start over once again in the blessed forgiveness of Christ.
Starting over is a very literal analogy of daily repentance and the life of faith. Isn’t it?
How did I get to a mental place where I associated that phrases with only negative connotations? It was my second lap around the track, folks. This isn’t a scenario that only comes up after years of building. This is yet another prick of sin that shows itself after it gets a few degrees too hot, a little late for dinner, or some semblance of additional courageous perked, and then wilted, in daily life.
I hate that sinking feeling. As though all my work hasn’t added up! My energy isn’t enough! My progress is suddenly shaken to the point of near failure!
But seriously? It’s not like works save, folks, and it’s good to be regularly reminded of that.
So, friends. When we’re writing and suddenly we’re starting over, chapter, verse, dialogue or diatribe, . . . maybe it’s not actually so bad. Or when we start yet another school year only to be discouraged within two days. Maybe when we fail at our resolutions and aspirations, it isn’t really failure at all.
I associate starting over with a sinking feeling. For a lot of people, however, that same phrase conveys hope and freedom!
I don’t know that I’ll ever embrace having my perseverance and patience further tested. But may God grant it to me that I be more mindful of how He works. Even and especially at those times when I can no longer rely on my own efforts and self-control has failed me!
The Triune God does not fail us. He does not fall short in His care even when our own work hasn’t come together the way we wish it would. Or, actually, sometimes aren’t we hoping that our own non-work would come together in some way resulting in ease and comfort?
Well. May we value a “peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2) over mere ease and comfort.
When I had more of a vanity blog, I used to sometimes sign off, “I’ll raise a glass to . . . ” whatever or whomever. Now, I’ve never been a big drinker (though I do love me hot chocolate in the winter), but isn’t a salutation of sorts helpful in a lot of situations? I love salutations!
So, with that in mind: new beginnings, I salute you. I salute you knowing that you can bring pains as well as pleasures. May God grant that I accept you as the blessings you are.