How often have we heard the phrase, “today is a new day”? People often speak these words of encouragement reminding us to: look forward… not back; think positive… not negative; start something… not stop.
But how often do we take this encouragement to heart? Too often our response (whether verbally or as an unspoken thought) is, “you just don’t know how much junk I’m dealing with” or “even if it is a new day… the same problems will be facing me”.
I think we can learn a lesson about new starts from an unlikely place: reality TV. If you watch shows like: the Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover, or Dancing with The Stars (to name just a few) you will notice that they are based on the premise that: to commit to making a new start or achieving a higher goal, you must begin with who you are and what you have. The drama and appeal of these is watching the people, warts and all, begin to overcome obstacles and transform towards something better and brighter.
The Acts of the Apostles (or The Book of Acts)is the greatest ‘new-start’ story ever told. It is about how a small group of people with ‘junk to deal with’ and ‘persistent problems’ were able to start the Christian church and change the world… a real journey of a lifetime.
In the first chapter (verses 4 & 5) we find, after Jesus was crucified, dead, buried, and raised, he spent some time with his warty apostles grooming them for this new start. He says to them, “not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise…” Jerusalem was ground-zero for all their junk and problems. But even in the midst of this God provides a ‘promise’, The presence and power of God’s Spirit of love, healing, and renewal. Jesus goes on to say, “but you will be baptized with [this] Holy Spirit not many days from now”.
Friends, I invite you to remember today that God has made the same promise to you and me. Warts and all we can begin to transform towards a better, brighter life… a better, brighter you! Be patient, wait for the promise… and not many days from now you too will be on the journey of a lifetime.