Many years ago, probably in the early 1970s, I was working in Los Angeles. I attended a one-day workshop hosted by a motivational speaker named Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. I recall that he said many inspirational things that day, the one big “aha” nugget that I have carried for years is this….
“The number one skill in life is this; be very good at ‘Starting Over.’”
This ancient truth and wisdom served me so well over the decades, and I have shared it with countless people as a way to reflect upon and live their lives.
Isn’t that the story of our lives? Everything changes. Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end.
We start in the womb. We come into the world and “start over.”
As an infant, we live in a sheltered and cloistered environment, and then we are moved out, usually into kindergarten or grade school, we “start over.”
The cycle continues…From grade school to junior high; from junior high to senior high; from senior high to college; from college to career life… our lives are categorized into many eras of starting anew. Change is inevitable, and we’re constantly required to start over.
For a long time, I have experienced many, many losses – family and friend’s deaths, personal divorces, personal financial ruin, business failures; 62 jobs.
I also found a vehicle for deep personal healing and transformation of my deep childhood wounds.
At the age of 52, I brought out a latent calling I’d had since childhood, and over the next 25 years, created a multi-million Leadership Coaching Practice.
My 70s were my most productive years. My business flourished, and God moved me to intently study his word – I completed 8 semesters of Bible Study, and then the intensive Colson Fellows Program, which equipped me to defend and articulate the True Biblical worldview.
I have manifested two personal ministries – Crown of Glory and Love your Neighbor.
The truth for me now has never been clearer; Jesus is the answer. My salvation through Him is astonishing. This is the ultimate proof of God’s Grace (supernatural power) in the earthly realm, and in me.
So… our natural lives are cyclical, indicated by lots of periods of starting over and continuous cycles of change – from beginning to end. This is the best described in Ecclesiastes.
This is the natural way of living, in cycles. It is the biblical way. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 explains that “For every time, there is a season.”
Every cycle comes to an end. And the best path to starting over is to forge a fresh, new and exciting new beginning.
We don’t always get to choose our endings, or even our beginnings. Sometimes, endings are painful and entail personal loss. Sometimes, beginnings are forced on us. But as we grow and mature, especially emotionally, we develop resilience and with this strength comes courage.
With change comes faith, or perhaps, with faith comes change. And as we move through this journey called life, we can become bolder and more intentional about where we go next.
It is easy to relate to this story in terms of our worldly experiences. We all have our own unique stories. Fluxes and shifts in relationships, schools, educational choices, career changes, losses, finance, physical locations, illnesses, achievements and so on are universal human experiences.
After an 84-year journey, I can only conclude that I got here and was molded into the person that I am due to the Grace of our almighty God. There is a supernatural reality to life on earth that has become more and more real to me as I have matured, not only physically but spiritually, in my faith walk and relationship with Jesus.
In earthly terms, 83 years is a fairly long time. It amounts to 30,660 days. At this stage of life, each day is a tiny fragment of my life. This only reminds me to see each day as a gift and to spend the time well.
But with the eternal perspective, each day is another step toward the heavenly father.
Solomon said it best, “Meaningless, meaningless!” Money, power, human philosophy. He warned us through his own experiences that life, at its best, is but vanity without Christ.
Countless lives throughout history have confirmed these findings; wisdom, pleasure, alcohol, human achievement, great riches, sex; each road leads to “vanity” without a proper relationship with God.
The last verse of Ecclesiastes, 12:13-14, reads “The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man, for God will bring every deed into judgment with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
The big story is the Bible – it is a story of God and his creation, including man and God/Jesus.
There are infinite events that make up the stories of each human.
We know of the beginning, Genesis, and the end, Revelations, of the big natural world, and of the supernatural realm, Heaven, through the story. As believers, our supernatural future is assured. The story of Jesus is the roadmap for us all.
I pray and claim the call and legacy have been given by the Lord to point out that Grace is all my human interactions, as well as yours.
Seek and you shall find… Grace.
Look and you shall see… Grace.
Listen and you should hear… Grace.
Open your heart and you shall feel… Grace.
Wake up sleepers and arise from the dead!