What new beginning are you experiencing? For some of you this will be commencing in a new role, a new job in a new learning community, a move to a new location. For all of us it is a new year, 2020.
One thing that can provide comfort and assurance is that God is with us in our transitions. New beginnings are the best time to reflect on where we’ve come from and move into the future with a joyful hope.
Take a moment to meditate and reflect: What new beginning am I experiencing now? How am I feeling at this point? … sit for a while with that feeling.
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the wilderness.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
There are many stories in the bible that show time and time again that God offers people a new beginning, another chance for great things. God frees the oppressed, Jesus heals and restores, and the Holy Spirit imbues new life.
When we’re in a new situation or at the beginning of a new year it’s natural to make resolutions. But in making those resolutions are we staying true to ourselves or trying to be someone different? When Jesus offers someone a new beginning, he’s simply calling them to be themselves, the best version of themselves.
Take a moment to meditate and reflect: Can I claim my selfhood, my own identity, loved and given by God?
Sometimes new beginnings are opportunities to look at the things we’re holding onto. Saint Ignatius speaks of so-called “disordered attachments”, things we’re attached to that are not helpful to growing closer to God and our True Self. We need to rid ourselves of those things.
Take a moment to meditate and reflect: Are there any things that I can get rid of at this point in my life, things unhelpful to my journey? What do I need to let go of? At this new beginning, what are my hopes?
Relationships can be very important to new beginnings. They may help us in our transition, or they may help encourage us to awaken dreams.
Take a moment to meditate and reflect: Who are those who can help me in my journey forward? What do I need to do to ensure their support?
It’s also important to consider our relationship with God who meets us at our need wherever we are. When we look back on a past year or past relationship or past situation, we may sentimentally long to return to that place. But the blessings of those times and the memories of the past can come with us. And God, most importantly, is never left behind. God moves with us from the present moment into the future, into new and hopeful beginnings.
The verse from Isaiah “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the wilderness.”, says that God is going to do something “brand-new”.
Take a moment to meditate and reflect: What brand new thing is God doing for me now?
As you commence 2020 and reconnect with your staff colleagues, students and family members of your learning community what now does a ‘new beginning’ look, sound and feel like? Take a moment to mediate and reflect.