Throughout our lives, there are moments when we experience something ‘new.’ It could be a new job, opportunity, challenge, relationship, or project, to name a few. At times they are the result of planning and pursuit; other times, they come without much thought or planning. Often they are received positively, and sometimes we are not entirely sure if we are excited about the new opportunity. Today I am going to be a part of a couple of new possibilities.
This morning I installed a new pastor at a local church. Not only is the pastor new to the congregation, but the pastor is starting his ministerial endeavors for the first time. The possibilities were palpable; in the air hung the hopes and expectations of all involved. Having been a part of firsts and new chapters, I can testify that it is an exciting time. How I wish I could capture and ‘bottle’ the feeling and then bring the bottle out when things are not as new and fresh, and life becomes quite a bit more complicated. I do not wish to be a joy-buster. I enjoy celebrating the fresh start! It seems that the intensity of the new days is much stronger this year. For since March, life has gotten very challenging: a pandemic, civil unrest, racial tensions, politics, and a national election. Hard to believe it is almost September; it seems like March was just 14 years ago!!
Can you remember all of the beginnings you have experienced? A new job, a new baby, a new friend, a promotion, a new house, a new car, or at least one that was new to you. You cannot reflect on some of these items without there being a smile on your face. We like beginnings because they offer such hope.
New things do lose their luster and shine. Life is so absolutely daily, and one day follows another. Starting is essential, but persevering and moving ahead is critical.
I must admit I like the ‘new’ days that are a part of my responsibility, from baby dedications, baptism, and weddings, which all represent this idea of new beginnings. Life is live daily, and there are disappointments, reversals, grief, and pain. In celebration of starts, I also want to give a friendly reminder: have a good ending as well!
Oh, how I wish I could promise you every day will be sweet and celebratory. Alas, I have no such powers. I can promise you something better! I heard these words, and they have made all of the difference: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6 Yes, as you start this new opportunity so filled with promise and great expectations, never lose sight of the fact that God is with you. He offers us this hope/challenge that we need not be afraid of or even terrified at what we are facing. How is that possible, you ask? He promises to help us with our frightening moments with nothing less than His personal presence in our lives.
Today where ever you are on the journey, remember He is here and He is with you.