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Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)
TITLE: A New Beginning Awaits You
By Joanne Malley
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by Joanne Malley
This past Sunday, we visited my sister-in-law for a barbeque. We arrived fashionably late, as usual! Everyone was having a great time and the eating fest was well under way. I decided to join in and fill my plate. I had been engaged in plenty of adult conversation during dinner and was now completely stuffed like the rest of them. I know some of us had two questions--"why did I eat so much? and where can I take a nap?"
After kicking back for a while, I decided to take a peaceful walk in the neighborhood. My sister-in-law was busy at the time playing hostess, and the kids were swimming in the pool. My husband was watching the Indianapolis 500 with a group of male couch potatoes, so I thought this would be a perfect time for my walk. I knew if I stayed there I would be bored to death watching the race. I also knew that after a satisfying meal, the men would be catching flies with their mouths wide open in about an hour! So, off I went!
While I was walking, I was totally engrossed in "ooooing and aaaahing" at some of the very large, well-kept homes. Something on the front lawn of one of the homes grabbed my attention. I noticed that an old oak tree had a very thick branch that looked dead. The branch was barren and I thought there was no chance of survival. But, when I took a closer look, very small areas were visible with new green growth. The tree proved me wrong--it was emerging with a burst of new life--a chance at a new beginning.
On my way back to the house, I was thinking how this situation with the tree equates to a person's chance at a new beginning after a season of lost hope. It may occur during the loss of a loved one or some other unfortunate life-altering experience. Our future may look so bleak, that we feel there is little chance of survival, just like the branch on the oak tree. During the barren times, we may feel dead inside, but if we allow Him, God pushes us onward as we lean on Him for our new vision or purpose. Afterward, when the pain has lifted, we emerge again with essentially a new outlook and a new beginning.
Life seems to be a big cycle of endings and beginnings and we whirl around while learning and growing with each new start. Many times, beginnings present themselves as a scary ride, but when we find ourselves still strapped in, we get the guts to go for another round. I guess we have to, or we have to get off the ride called life!
Tomorrow will be a new day offering me many beginnings in different areas of my life. On the lighter side, this is especially true when I promise myself a fresh start to my everlasting diet! It's great to know that no matter how often I screw up, I can always begin again!
When my children return to school after summer vacation, I'll have an entire day to myself for the first time in twelve years. A new chapter in my life will begin by offering new opportunities. Yahooooo, peace at last! Ooops, you weren't supposed to hear that! I guess I couldn't contain my excitement while awaiting my new beginning!