Most of us wish we could begin again. Go back to our roots, learn from our mistakes, re-discover our identity and begin a new journey? But often we resign ourselves to the lives we have now. We don’t believe a new story is possible.
But it is. Because God is in the business of new beginnings.
In the book of Ezra, we see the people of Israel, God’s chosen people, make a new beginning. They rebuild their temple and return to their holy city.
They begin again.
Because God is all about new beginnings. When we’re distant, when we’ve been far from home, God always brings us back to the beginning.
A few months ago I began to get tired of public blogging. I had my own public blog, but it had become more and more a burden. It was a heavy weight I was lugging around. I was posting out of obligation and even fear, rather than because I was passionate about what I was writing.
The only writing I was passionate about anymore was writing books and writing for other people’s blogs. I’d become more obsessed with stats. In comment numbers and subscriber lists more than creating great work.
So I laid it down. I stopped public blogging. I took a sabbatical from public blogging on my own site.
And I went back to the beginning. So now I’m asking the question ‘Who am I?’. I’m reading books on identity, calling and how to discover my strengths. I’m praying, asking what God wants me to do. Reminded again of who I am in God.
I’ve gone home. I’ve begun again.
This is a story we see all over the Bible. After Peter denies Jesus, he is restored, forgiven, and embraces a new story. He enters into his calling to be the fisher of men Jesus always told him he was. Paul gets blinded on the road to Damascus. But then the scales fall from his eyes, as he wakes up to who he can be in Christ.
Jesus Himself begins His journey in the desert. Having to answer to Satan for who He is. But refusing to prove Himself. He knows who He is and is secure in it.
Jesus begins where we all need to begin. By recognising and acknowledging His true identity. And in putting His security not in achievements, status, wealth or circumstance. But in His Heavenly Father.
It’s on these foundations we build our own temples. It’s on the foundation of our security in God, and our true identity, where we can build a life which is the one God planned for us.
The people of Israel went back to the beginning. They went home, laid foundations, and finally built their temple there. Israel reclaimed the identity they always had.
So let us do the same. Let’s go back to the beginning. Put our security in God. Discover our true identity. And then build a life on those foundations.
Are you with me?
(Picture Source: Wikipedia)