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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Beginnings (05/31/04)

TITLE: What phase are you in?
By Karen Treharne



ďThere are three things that only God knows: the beginning of things, the cause of things, and the end of things.Ē - Welsh Proverb

Having lived more than 60 years, I have experienced daily beginnings. From birth to around age 25, it was a time of preparation, learning, experimenting, and dreaming. During the time between age 26 and 50, my roles and responsibilities became apparent and I made commitments. Witnessing many changes from then until now, I have continued to grow and expand my horizons. I work fewer days and have launched out in new directions in anticipation of my retirement years.

At times my life has felt like I was on a merry-go-round or a roller coaster. Up and down, round and round, feeling like I was on the way to somewhere, but never arriving. While I was in these cycles, many hurtful experiences forced me to reappraise my life and begin over. Beginnings do not necessarily mean maturity, however. For most of us, that takes quite a bit longer and, even though there is no specific age limit involved, we must shed former ideas, old ways, and previous feelings to accomplish that goal. How can we take advantage of opportunities and overcome obstacles we encounter in order to reach the age of maturity?

Here are a few ways I have discovered by which that can happen:
Believe in Christ as our Savior who initiates changes in us.
Expose ourselves to Godís word and His plan for our life.
Grow into a closer relationship with our Lord.
Invite the Holy Spirit to provide guidance and resolve.
Never give in to temptation.
Nurture others with our revealed knowledge.
Influence those around us by becoming an example of Jesus.
Nourish a desire for Christian fellowship and prayer support.
Give our time, talents, and finances to support the body of Christ.
Seek the truth and share the Good News of salvation.

Following in Christís footsteps, changes our determination to live as we did before. We learn that we cannot begin to love until we stop hating. We understand that we need to stop lamenting our past so that inner healing can take place. We realize that we no longer want to live in sinful ways, but want instead to form a closer relationship with God.
Itís not easy to stop doing what seems to bring us pleasure or fuels our self-pity, because itís frightening and we are unsure of the outcome. But when we take that first step to accept Jesus as our Savior, He makes growth and acceptance possible and a new life is born in us again.

What I have learned is, that even though it seems that life can only be understood backwards, it still must be lived forwards. And thanks to God, my faith has become dominant and the Holy Spirit has taught me that as I come upon losses and frailties of age and face suffering of one kind or another, I can continue to move ahead in His strength.

Perhaps you are experiencing or starting into a new phase in your life. Will you, too, begin with Christ?

Member Comments
Member Date
Dian Moore06/07/04
Outstanding piece, Karen. Your wisdom shines through in this article and is well set out and very well polished - except for one teeny comma that doesn't belong after the clause that begins with Following ... Other than that, this is a perfect piece, worthy of many votes.
L.M. Lee06/08/04
Okay This was SOOOOO good! I'm in that spot...my kids are grown...now what?

I really liked the middle of this piece. You could develop each line into a nice book on change! It would be great!
Deborah Porter 06/09/04
Totally agree with the above comments Karen. What wisdom and so beautiful and graciously shared! I appreciated the message all by itself, but your obvious care and attention to every word and phrase really stood out. I'll look forward to reading more of your work Karen! With love, Deb
Mary Elder-Criss06/11/04
"What I have learned is, that even though it seems that life can only be understood backwards, it still must be lived forwards."

I have recently been questioning God about some things in my life that I have not understood. Your words really touched a chord in me today. Knowing that He indeed works all things for good, even when I don't understand WHY they are being answered as they are at the present. Thanks for the reminder to live each day fully for Him, regardless.