Listening to Canon June’s talk in Church a few weeks ago about Lent being an opportunity to start something new, to stop something that we don’t like about ourselves and to re-examine our faith, it struck me just how many opportunities there are in the year for a new start.
There’s New Year, of course, in January when resolutions are made and often broken within days. There’s Lent, when traditionally we give something up but could also start something new; Easter, which is a time of new life and celebration; the growing season for gardeners when all of last year’s successes and disasters become lessons and benchmarks for this year; September, when the children go back to school and parents can start new routines; Christmas, when we vow each year to be more organised, to spend less but give more; and countless other times during the year when have an opportunity to do something new.
“The diet starts tomorrow” or so the joke goes. It’s not just the diet, though, is it? Anything new can start tomorrow. A new course, a new friendship, a new job – life is a continuous run of new starts and yet we don’t often stop to think about what this offers us. If every day has the possibility of being a new start, then we can never be trapped in a life without hope of change. We need never worry about being in a rut, of never leaving an unwanted situation or that life is passing us by and all we do is watch from the sidelines. If every day has the possibility of being a new start, then all we have to do is jump in, do something that takes that first step to a new life, make that phone call, smile that smile or say hello.