How’s it going?

There’s something special about new beginnings.
I remember how I enjoyed starting a new notebook in school – all those empty lines waiting to be filled with carefully penned words!
Or newly fallen snow like a blank canvas – lots of opportunity to be creative!
Or making New Year resolutions…

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…an appealing idea, but truth is, I never had much success in keeping these!
My solution was to use my January birthday as an opportunity for another fresh start, but this too was short lived.  ‘How’s it going?’ wasn’t a thought that had a pleasing answer – unrealistic goals coupled with a perfectionist streak equalled disappointment…

With age, and finding faith, I take a different approach. Rather than making New Year resolutions, I choose a ‘word for the year’ and look for daily opportunities to put it into practice. Last year’s word was ‘trust’ (there were plenty of opportunities!) and this year’s word is ‘grow’. It’s about aligning myself with God’s hopes for me, so that I become ever more fully the person I’ve been made to be.

Like a plant that grows in the direction of the light, our growth is dependent on being out of the shadows.

germinando

But I sometimes choose to remain in the dark. Self-doubt shrivels me; wrong priorities misshape me; fear of failure stunts me.

Thank heavens then, for a God with endless fresh starts for each of us.
We cannot live in the past, nor in the future. We can only live in the present moment, and like a present, it needs unwrapping. What have we been handed?  A little blessing to appreciate; a chance to make a small difference to someone’s day; an opportunity to face the fear and just do it!
Some days we will do better than others, but the call is to

keep on keeping on

As a believer, I trust in a God who doesn’t give up on us, and so a sense of God asking ‘How’s it going?’ is an invitation to be truly honest. It’s an invitation to let go and let God; to do our best and let God do the rest…

Truth is… ‘I make all things new, beginning with you, and starting from today’ (Song: WGRG, Iona Community)

The tide has turned…

clockface

Do I hold the record for procrastination?
For years – 35 to be precise – I’ve felt a niggle to write.
I’ve even had titles: ‘Images & Reflections’ dates back to 1982 when I was working at the Abbey on the Isle of Iona, but guess what, I’ve just discovered that 10 years ago someone else produced ‘Iona: Images and Reflections’, so I’ve long missed the boat!

boat wake

Thank goodness then, for a very patient God, for the tide has turned within me.
I’m now charting new waters and have decided to venture beyond my ongoing journals.
There’s been a shift and I’ve decided to blog.

shift key

Writing for me, is a way of making sense of life from a faith perspective.

God, our creator, has high hopes for us, urging us to discover our true selves,
but so much can get in the way.
Truth is, self-doubt and fear of failure are just some of the seas I’ve been sailing.
These fears have left me wrecked at times, but I’ve never been beyond God’s rescue.
Time and time again God has helped me to my feet,
yet rather than letting go of my fears, I’ve often let them hold me in their grip.
At worst I’ve not let God take my hand, I’ve been afraid of the unknown.

hands

Now though, it’s time to change in a deeper way.
It’s time to ‘put my hand into the dark and find it held.’
How about you? Do fears sometimes knock you off course?

The good news for all of us, is that it’s always ‘better late than never’
and it’s definitely ‘never too late’ – whatever form our particular procrastination takes.
So let’s not look back with regret, but forward with hope.

Truth is… I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me’ Philippians 3:13