We all need new beginnings… a time to let go of what is behind us and look forward to the days ahead and all that God has for us.
In the movie, The Mission, Robert DeNiro plays Captain Mendoza a Spanish ruthless mercenary whose built his wealth through being a slave trader. After murdering his brother in a jealous rage, Mendoza he feels remorse, maybe for the first time in his life, and he begins to reflect on his choices. This takes him on a journey of self-destruction and penance. Mendoza is tormented by his past behavior and choices, and as part of his penance he carries a huge bag of weights that represented these choices. As he drags it through the days, it hindered everything he does. Even after he repents and becomes a Jesuit , Mendoza is consumed with carrying it, unwilling to receive the forgiveness of God that says is ours in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5 :17 says: that in Christ we are a new creation… the old has passed away … behold the new has come.
Can you relate? Do you have a bag of mistakes, poor choices, shoulda, woulda coulda that you carry on your shoulders.. that weigh you down and keep you from living in the present?
I know when I do this.. it is exhausting. I am so focused on all that is wrong, all my mistakes … internally beating myself up with a whack a mole bat… wasting the precious time of today with worry and regret about things I cannot change. When I do this, not only am I being mean to God’s precious child, me… I also miss the invitation and wonder of the new beginning God has for me. Do you ever feel this way? Have you missed any new beginnings?
Fall is one of my favorite times of year… I love the change I seasons, the new school clothes, a brand new set of pens… new schedules, new opportunities that come with this new beginning –It is such a hopeful time… if we let it be.
God longs for us to live in the truth that we are new creations in Him, that each day He is changing us into His likeness, helping us become our best selves so we can create our best lives. But we have to let go of the old to make room for the new. We have to put down the bat… and stop beating ourselves up, God invites us to put down the bag of mistakes that we carry with us and trust Him.
Does the weight of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda’s energize you for today? Does it get you any closer to your dreams? Can you go back and change it?
No… dwelling in that place is a drag and saps our energy. But what if you let it go, what if you put it down…Can you imagine how light and hopeful you would feel?
There is a poignant scene in The Mission, the bag of weight is literally cut off his back by the very people he had wronged and harmed the most… and in this moment of receiving the forgives that they offered, that God offers, he embraced the new man he was… and his life changed.
Can you imagine beginning each new day with a sense of freedom, weightless.. with no worry in it, no carrying the past with you, but being open to all that God can do with your todays’? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Hebrews 12:1 tells us to lay aside every weigh that clings so closely … so we can run the race that God set before us. Can you picture this?
Literally putting down the weight of our past mistakes, our regrets, our failures and walking into each day as the New Creation in Christ? It would be liberating, empowering and it would make us available for all that God wants to do with us and through us today. Today is all we have. There is no guarantee of tomorrow… we have today to live fully aware that we are forgiven, we are new creations with a new beginning each day to live as we were created to… with passion, purpose and possibilities that come as a daughter of the King of Kings.
I invite you this week, to begin each day, claiming that you are a new creation in Christ, that the old has passed away and that the new has begun. To let go of your shoulda woulda couldas and live each day with an anticipation of all the new and wonderful things that God has in store for you. That is living into your divine design!
What shoulda, woulds, coulda’s have you been carrying? What would it look like, feel like to let them go?
One of the hardest ones for me is letting go of the procrastination and the way I beat myself up because of it. Letting go and just taking the next step to do the next thing is a way to stop procrastinating and begin a new pattern…One step at a time. It does require grace to let go and stop the internal head trash. And it requires determination and perseverance to stop procrastinating. When I give myself grace, I find freedom and energy to take action.
How about you?