Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A Fresh Start

I always love to look at the icons on my phone and see the number one on my calendar app. The little 1 that shows itself at the start of each month signifies for me a new beginning, a fresh start.

The last month has passed with all of its good, bad, and ugly. The days where I was pushed to my limit are now behind me. The late nights where I would pull the ice cream from the freezer when I swore I would eat better are now in the past. June is gone, July has begun.

Do you feel the same? Do you love a new month, a turning of the calendar?

This little 1 signifies a chance to make changes, push ahead, and reach some goals. It is like a blank slate lying before me, ready for me to fill each day as I choose.

As I've been reflecting on this new month, I started thinking about how sometimes as life goes by, we can find ourselves in need of a literal fresh start. A second chance. A new beginning.

Perhaps you are finding yourself in a place where the decisions of your past have led you down an unfamiliar path. The goals that you wrote down, swearing to be better, to do better, have been forgotten, with old habits persisting. June may have been a month that seemed to be a repeat of January, February, March, April, and May and despite your hopefulness and attempts that something will change, you found yourself stuck in the same place day after day.

Maybe you are in desperate need of a fresh start.

As much as I love the turn of the calendar, I am well aware that a single day will not magically make me a more committed person. It will not suddenly change all of my eating habits. It won’t make me kinder, more loving, or a better friend.

Just because a new page is open on the calendar doesn’t mean the last page has disappeared.

And yet, I have hope.

I have hope that this month can be one marked with greatness because I know that my life is filled with second chances, filled with fresh starts. As I desire a blank slate I must not be fooled that I can simply be better or do better on my own. It will be short lived, it will be shallow.

My fresh start always comes from the One who is full of grace and forgiveness. It comes from the One who loves unconditionally. The One who keeps no record, even when my heart reminds me of all I have done wrong.

I receive a fresh start, not based on the things I have done or haven’t done, but simply based on His grace.

If you are looking for a fresh start today, I encourage you to turn to Him. Don’t try to do it in your own strength. Life can be difficult, we make mistakes, we fail ourselves and others. It isn’t about perfection, it is about perspective.

So, as you plan out July with your goals of eating right, apologizing more readily, or kicking that bad habit, I want to remind you that your past is not your future. Last month is not this month. God cares more about you than anything that you do or don’t do. His fresh starts are not limited to a date on the calendar.

So go, enjoy Canada Day. Celebrate with fireworks and friends. But in the midst of the celebration, know that a blank slate is always yours. Not just on the first of the month, but every day with God's grace. 

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