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New Beginnings

It's that time of year again when the start of school begins a new season in life for all of us. It can sometimes be a bit awkward or even exhilarating when you meet new teachers or school mates or parents or becoming acclimated to new classes, subjects and books. But I'm certain we'll all adjust and get into a great pace.

Speaking of new seasons, I think one of the best life lessons I have learned is the fact that God often gives us the opportunity to start something new. Thank you, Father!

I am thankful because, like many people, I have made plenty of mistakes in life and the chance to have another go at it is a blessing I do not take lightly. To take it a step further and at the risk of sounding like a big idiot, I've had more than one additional opportunity to do the same thing because I made either the same mistakes or invented new ones. Again, thank you, God!!

But the point of this post is to hopefully help you stave off potential recurring mistakes before your next new beginning begins. I know I'm taking some liberties here by assuming you will have one or more. But my guess is that you (and I) will probably have more than a few new opportunities to start again in life and, hopefully, get things right the next go around.

So after you've made a mistake and you once again experience God's amazing grace by giving you another new beginning, remember these things:

Be thankful!

The bible tells us to enter His gates with thanksgiving. The gates represent entrances. Essentially, it's the first thing you come to and we should not overlook the importance of starting things out by thanking God for the new beginning.

Stop and take stock of the lessons in your past mistakes.

Before you haphazardly begin going about things the way you always did it, remember that the reason you may be having to do it all over again is because you didn't do it right the last time. STOP! Take a breath and then pray. Think about the lessons God wants you to learn from past mistakes and document them so you don't forget them and you have easy access to them. I'm certain you don't want to repeat the same things over again.

Commit to boundaries and establish some accountability.

Once you've made your assessment, get real about setting up some boundaries that help you stay away from making those mistakes. Plus, always make sure to bring on a mentor or a more mature friend who can hold you accountable to doing the things you have committed to.

Make regular assessments.

Walking out the plan you've made by doing the things above needs to also include regular times when you sit down alone and then again with your accountability partner to assess how things are going. You might be surprised how helpful these meetings are. Remember, a ship sailing just one degree off course can cause it to miss its destination by miles. Make regular adjustments when needed.

Teach someone else.

Gaining knowledge without sharing it with others reminds me of the difference between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. What some people may not know is that the Jordan River actually feeds into both bodies of water. But the water from the Sea of Galilee then flows out, down into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, however, only receives the water. No water flows out of it, making it a salty, lifeless body of water. That's a great lesson for all of us to continue to pour into the lives of others.

Hopefully, your next new beginning will prove to be the best season of your life!

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