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.