I don’t like to start over. It seems like a waste of time. Can’t I just pick up where I left off and keep going?
But sometimes beginning again is more about attitude. And it’s one I need.
I traveled with Jeff last week to Denver where he had work to do. It was the 6th week in my inner pilgrimage with The Soul of a Pilgrim, “The Practice of Beginning Again.”
In the book, author Cynthia Valters Paintner says,
“We are to remember that we are always beginning in the spiritual life. When we think we have it all ‘figured out,’ the further we are from the spiritual path.”
Yikes. Okay. So each morning I asked God, “Where can I begin again?”
On Monday morning, I set out on a walk near our hotel.
On Tuesday morning, I walked the opposite direction.
Different again on Wednesday.
But by Thursday morning, I knew I needed more of a “beginning again.” More of a challenge physically to challenge me spiritually.
I GPS’d directions to Gunther Toody’s Diner (I highly recommend it!) for a pancake and bacon breakfast. Alone (not my fave way to eat out).
Then I googled a local hiking trail (also not a fan of driving in an unfamiliar city—yeah, I have issues).
But sometimes to learn new things, we have to do new things.
And I want to learn new things.
- About God
- About myself
- About others
None of us are done. Even as we finish one stage of life (I’m no longer raising kids!), we begin again in a new stage (how do I parent adult kids?).
We learn baby steps again. We mess up again. But we can always begin again, too.
Beginning again is a gift.
Thomas Merton wrote,
“There are only three stages to this work: to be a beginner, to be more of a beginner, and to be only a beginner.”
As I walked and prayed (and sweated) in Sweetwater Park last Thursday morning, I felt I was beginning again. I saw God in the Colorado blossoms different from my Alabama woods. I felt rewarded yet humbled by my initial reluctance to come here at all (I can be such a chicken).
The Lord had given me a new day. A new opportunity. New grace.
Maybe beginning again isn’t so bad after all.
Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.
Isaiah 43:19 (GNB)
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How can you practice beginning again? Is there an area in your life or faith that you’ve grown too comfortable in? Or something you’ve given up that you’d like a fresh start with? Please share in the comments.
- On the blog – June 2015
- Links, books, and other things I love – July 2015