Beginnings and endings are difficult parts. Sometimes the middle seems so hard to endure, but yet I tend to stay there because the end of it and the beginning of another is too difficult; sometimes even painful. I know the middle. I may not always like it, but I know it. And so, beginnings and endings remain my most difficult part.
Beginnings require us to realize that what we were doing isn’t right or good enough any more. Beginnings require us to end wherever we were. Endings require us to be different from this point on. (You may insert your personal favorite joke here regarding change and a lot of people’s resistance to it!) Although I don’t like the process of changing, the effects of changing are awesome. If there were no need to do things differently; if I were going along at maximum performance then change wouldn’t be necessary. I don’t mean not learning or growing but the process I use to live life. But, I’m not at maximum and so change is necessary which means I must end and begin.
Recently, I talked with a young person about ending a life and beginning a new one. Ending a life devoid of God and His grace and peace and beginning a life unlike any that she has ever had modeled for her. It’s a tough thing. This girl accepted Jesus as her savior. That’s the beginning. But, ending old habits, some old relationships and old ways of dealing with life will take her a lifetime. The beginning was a pretty easy choice for her and she was baptized yesterday.
Another guy I know struggles with the beginning of being a new creation but has done so much work ending his past life. He is certainly not the man he used to be! We are still waiting for him to accept the beginning Jesus offers him and realize that he will never be good enough or will have changed enough to earn this newness. His beginning is a struggle for him.
Jesus required a group of religious men to question their lives in front of a naked adulterous woman. When they left, he told her to end her current life and begin a new life. We don’t know the rest of her story. I would like to think I will get to hear it from her lips someday. The instruction is easy; end and begin. But, it is often very difficult to carry out. In fact, I can’t do it on my own for my own good. But rather, I do the hard things for God, with God and through God. He defines Himself as the being the beginning and end. If God IS the beginning and end, by all means He can supply me to work through beginnings and endings in my life.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Rev 22:13