Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I"m a Beginner

Every day I mess something up, something big or something small.  Every day I make a mistake, more accurately some mistakes.  I don’t spend enough time writing.  I offend someone.  I’m late.  I get stressed out.  I do something someone doesn’t like or something I don’t like, or both.  I’m a failure.  So the next day I start over.  I’m a beginner.  Does this sound hopeless?  Is this some existential crisis?   Or is this just life?
Is it a chance for grace, for redemption?   Is it God’s way of showing that forgiveness, improvement, and growth are also everyday occurrences?  This isn’t a religious tract, but I wonder where every day comes from.  Why did I wake up this morning?  What was the point?  Why didn’t God fire me from life yesterday when I messed up?  The world doesn’t need any more people, especially no more people like me, someone who seems to mess up in so many ways every day. 
I may have mentioned this before, but I used to work for a man named Larry.  I was in my late teens and early 20’s and, to put it kindly, I wasn’t his best worker.  I was rude, immature, lazy, and self-absorbed.   I quit on him two or three times, and he always took me back like a prodigal son.  He wasn’t a religious man, nor was he outwardly sentimental or affectionate, but he was one of the closest representations of God on Earth I had ever known up to that time.  Despite my numerous faults and infidelities, he always forgave me and he always took me back.  I didn’t appreciate it back then and I don’t understand it now.  Why was he like this?  Why did he forgive me every day?
Every morning when I wake up, it feels like God has forgiven me and taken me back, too.  I’m a beginner.  I get to start again.  The slate has been wiped clean.  Maybe not with other people.  Maybe not even with myself.  But with God, with life, I get to start over.  I get another chance.  I can apologize for yesterday.  And I can do it differently today.  I can think differently.  I can behave differently.  Today is a new day.
And maybe I don’t have to wait until tomorrow.  Maybe I can be a beginner right now. 
What would it mean to be a beginner?
·      It means I know a lot less than I thought I did.
·      It means everything is new.
·      It means I would not be quick to speak because I’m still learning who people are.
·      It means I would ask a lot more questions and not be so quick with answers.
·      It means I would be more open to learning about people, about life, about the work I have been called to do.
·      It means I would have no grudges to forgive, no past, no anger, no judgments, no “issues.”
I can be a beginner right now.  I can start all over right now.  I can experience grace and forgiveness right now.  I can Get Started and Keep Going right now…as a beginner.