I had committed to eat only salads when ordering at fast food restaurants for at least the month of January.
The memory of this commitment rose in my mind, as I sunk my teeth into a hot, crispy onion ring from Sonic just last week. My daughter reminded me of the prohibition I had self-inflicted. I responded to her that I could start all over. This is good news for many of us, as we begin the journey of 2015. We can start all over.
We must believe that we can start all over—otherwise we will never experience the gifts of grace and mercy that enable us to have another chance to get it right. All of us remember the story of Paul on the Damascus Road (Acts 9). Before Paul’s name change from Saul to Paul, he had persecuted Christians. He hated Christians!
On his way to wreak havoc upon more Christians, Jesus knocked Paul off his horse and blinded him for three days. After the scales were removed from his eyes, he began a new journey on which he experienced prosecution for being a Christian. He would found churches and write letters explaining much of our theology about Jesus’ death and Resurrection.
Paul started over. We can rejoice in knowing that if Paul can start all over, so can we. We need to understand that when we start all over, things will have to change. We cannot engage our re-start with the purpose of doing everything the same way.
In fact, one cannot have the true desire to start all over unless they are convicted to do a ‘re-start.’ People usually want to start over because they realize that they made a mistake, and they want to start all over. When we play games or take a test, we usually are stuck with our mistakes and have to keep playing in spite of realizing the mistakes we made. We have all heard the saying that ‘hindsight is 20/20.’
However, we have the promise of grace that allows us another chance to start a new journey. We can start all over. Even if we are at Ground Zero, we can rebuild. God will restore us.
Sometimes evil spirits try to convince us that we cannot start all over or finish what we started. But the devil is a liar. We can re-start at any point on our journey. No matter where we are right now spiritually (even if our name is ‘Saul’), know that there is Paul on the inside of you. God wants to re-invent us this year, and bring out our best.
For God to do this in our lives, we must believe that we can start all over.
Some people will not believe it. But when we keep moving forward in our new start, we will see our best days are still ahead. You can start all over.