Starting Over – Hitting Reset

“With every rising of the sun, think of your life as just begun.” -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

                      photo-28

Do you ever want to hit the “reset” button on your life, habits, relationships, job?  Do you believe that if you could start over again that you would do things differently?

In Genesis,  God created separation between days, weeks, months, and years. Genesis 1: 3-5 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’. and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night’ “(New International Version).  According to the Bible, creating a difference between night and day (and subsequently days and weeks) is the first thing God did after creating the heavens and the earth.

Therefore, if every day, week, month, and year is separated from the one preceding it, we are constantly given a chance for a new beginning or fresh start.  As we enter into 2015, many people see the new year as an opportunity to start fresh with resolutions.  People often make promises to better their health, relationships, finances, career, etc; However, God says that we have a chance to start new every day.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (New International Version).  What beautiful grace God displays by giving us a chance to have a new start each day.  With each sunrise, we are given a fresh opportunity to live God’s way.  His grace is always there for us, but I like the visual expression of a sunrise and sunset to show the sunrise of our new chance each day.

Sometimes life forces us to start over at unexpected times.  We may have an “out-of-nowhere” job loss or relational breakup.  We are left to pick up the pieces & start over when an event occurs we did not choose.  Andy Stanley’s Series “Starting Over” was excellent to describe what to do when it all falls apart (http://startingoverseries.org).  Andy talks about the three exercises to complete when starting over: 1) Own it, 2) Rethink it, and 3) Release It.

Owning it means to own your share/part of why the situation went wrong.  Even if you feel like the situation was not your fault, there is always a piece of the fault pie that belongs to you.  In Andy’s sermon, he asked us to draw a slice of the pie that represented our part in why a situation went wrong and we are forced to start over.  Owning your part of why a situation went wrong helps you gain clarity and learn from it (www.startingoverseries.org).

Rethinking it means to ask yourself what you were thinking during the situation that went wrong.  If we think the way we used to, we will do the same things.  Be able to answer the question ‘What was I thinking?” (www.startingoverseries.org).

Releasing it means that even though other people may be to blame in your situation, you have a responsibility.  You must decide to forgive and release the fault others created in your situation (www.startingoverseries.org).  Andy told us to ask the question “How long do you plan to allow the people who mistreated you to influence your future?”

Each new day is an opportunity to start over — We don’t have to wait until January 1st of each new year to change.  Sometimes life events give us no choice but to start over again, usually at unexpected times.  Each circumstance that falls apart is an opportunity to begin again.  We have the chance each day to hit the “reset” button and do things better the next time.  It takes a little reflection and “owning the situation”…but starting over can be a great thing!