I'm going to start with a Henri Nouwen quote
"God not only says: 'You are my Beloved.' God also asks: 'Do you love me?' and offers us countless chances to say 'Yes' to our inner truth. The spiritual life, thus understood, radically changes everything. Being born and growing up, leaving home and finding a career, being praised and being rejected, walking and resting, praying and playing, becoming ill and being healed - yes, living and dying - they all become expressions of that divine question: 'Do you love me?' And at every point of the journey there is the choice to say 'Yes' and the choice to say 'No.'"
This passage really touched me because I really identify with it. Especially coming out of Lent. I'm not sure how your lent was, but mine was...well...let's just say I'm so glad my lent was not taken for a grade and factored into my GPA. But that's the thing, I felt God's love in my failures and shortcomings and I learned a lot too, so maybe that means it was a success. My lent was filled with me trying to give myself a fresh start by saying, "Okay, I'm going to do better starting now." And what a gift from God because every second we live is an opportunity to have a fresh start. Like that Henri Nouwen quote says, "at every point of the journey" God is giving us chances to say "Yes" and to try again.
I heard this story once on the radio and I think about it often. A child was playing in a tree in his backyard when all of the sudden his foot slipped and he was dangling by his legs. Full of fear, he yelled out to his dad for help. The father, of course, rushed to help his son out of the tree. He didn't stop and think, "did my son make his bed this morning?" or "Has he been nice to his sister today?" There were no conditions for helping his son. Nothing mattered but that his child needed and wanted his father.
God is that way with us, we even catch a glimpse of that in the Easter story when Jesus forgives the sinner on the cross next to his own. It didn't matter that the man did all of those bad things for his entire life, Jesus gave that man hope and saved him in the very last moments of his life. It wasn't too late for that crucified man and it certainly isn't too late for us. So, if you are like me and seem to be in need of motivation, I pray that we find comfort in knowing that we can start over at any point. It's one of the many blessings that God has given us. I pray that we all feel called to express our "Yes" to God in every moment of our lives and that God helps us along the way.
Until next time,
P.S. I find this song SUPER inspiring when talking about new beginnings and fresh starts: