Starting Again or Starting Over
As our family celebrated the 8th birthday of my grandson Julian Timothy, one of his aunts asked him a question as we were gathering around to have cake, ice cream, and give him his presents. She said, “Julian do you know what the number 8 means in the Bible?” Julian replied, “no ma’am”. She went on to tell him that it means new beginnings. He smiled and patiently waited for the high point of his celebration to begin. Although I did not say anything, I thought about how appropriate it was for her to impart that little piece of knowledge at that moment even if it did not appear to resonate with Julian. You see when God grants us a new opportunity at any intersection in life it grants us the privilege of starting again. Too often we do not realize that, hence the reason why many opportunities slip through our hands.
During my time of meditation God began to connect some particularly important dots in my mind as they relate to new beginnings . . . starting again . . . starting over. Although they have similarities and some connectivity, they are also uniquely different. This year the world has experienced something we never expected – a global pandemic. Our lives have been affected in unimaginable ways. Yet, if you are reading this blog it indicates that you have survived! That is something we should be daily, constantly thankful for. Life may not be exactly as you planned it or desire it to be right now, but you are alive! Therefore, you have been granted the privilege of a new beginning. We hear the term stated often about our “new normal”. I have yet to comprehend what that is or even will be. Things are changing weekly, sometimes daily because there is still so much that is unknown and understood about how to eradicate this ever present Coronavirus. One thing we do know is that what was once our “norm”, no longer is. We are all still searching for what it will be. We haven’t been able to really get back to or resume many of those things that were so much a part of our daily existence and routines.
So, what do we do? We start again!! Start what? Start living, start giving, start moving forward, start dreaming . . . you affix your own definition to it! During my meditation and prayer time, the Lord showed me that starting again is not the same as starting over. When you start again, you are attempting to do something new! Something you have not done before! You are venturing out on a new journey, tackling a new assignment, striving for a new goal. You may possibility be doing things you never anticipated. When you start over, you are doing the same thing, sometimes in the same manner, in hopes of achieving the same goal! There is no right or wrong between these two, it should just be clearly understood that they are different and that is what determines their significance.
The summer is ending for most of our children as they begin to return to school in accordance with whatever plan that has been put into place in their educational institution. For parents and children this is an intimidating time. Once again, we are facing the unknown and the unexpected. As a grandparent I feel very somber and melancholy not being able to do what I would normally be doing with my grandchildren at this time. No extended shopping trips for school supplies, new clothes, and new shoes; then laying out what would be the first day/week of school outfits. This year I will not be getting up and out early on that first day of school to drive to their homes and take pictures as they venture out for their first day. I am disappointed about this; imagine how they must feel. Yet, it is a time for us to start again! Yes, school is something we all have “done before”, but this year it’s all new. This “start” is an altogether new journey. A new journey for children, parents, families, teachers, administrators, even bus drivers, and other support staff in our educational institutions. However, we must look at the privileges and opportunities granted to us by our heavenly Father to START AGAIN. Let’s look on the bright side of what lies before us. We may not see that silver lining yet, but as long as we are alive to see the dawning of each new day we can START AGAIN!
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