It hits each typical workday morning. I awake realizing that the better portion of my life is behind me and I have not accomplished
any one of my goals. In fact I can’t even reach my most recent goal of
trying to get my basement cleaned up. Every time I try somebody in my family
adds something else to the bottomless pit at the end of the stairs, i.e. my basement.
So there at the bottom of the steps is
this ever-increasing pile of stuff that needs to be put somewhere. I just haven’t figured out where yet. I would like to just bring in one of those open topped dumpsters and clean house. Life is kind of like my basement, as we get older we find that we have accumulated a lot of junk in our
attics, i.e. our minds, that we would like to get rid of but just can’t.
In the end the stuff just seems to sit there, popping out at the most importune times and reminding us of why we are
who we are.
One example of this is when you go to your
25th high school reunion and discover that most of the people there have way cooler jobs than you do or are driving a car
that is not 10 or 20 years old. It’s at times like these that
the idea of the life you have seems to get drowned out by all the voices telling you about the life you might have had. This is where the dreams of starting over begin.
These are the times that cause us to start to take stock of our present lives.
It seems like midlife is all about
looking back and wondering where all the years went and looking forward to see how few years you have left. This is the time that we start to make mental lists and take stock of what we have and what thought we
should have had or accomplished by this time. I don’t know about you but
when I take stock of my life I discover that the shelves of missed opportunities are full but the shelves are a little bare
in the goals department. I never really thought much about starting over before
but now that I have reached that midlife crisis area I find myself doing it a lot more.
Now I look around and see where people my age are and where I am compared to them and see my life as needing an overhaul.
I know as Christians we are not supposed
to really dwell on the past but it is human nature every once in awhile to stop and think about starting over. I’m not talking about going back to the beginning but about going back and tweaking the little things
that seem to bother us so much. It is like that old chair you have sitting around
the house. You keep looking at the thing wondering what to do with it, should
I get rid of it or not? The answer is sometimes a reluctant no because to you
the chair is old and should go but on the other had the chair is still comfortable and maybe all it really needs is to have
a slipcover on it.
What I have discovered as we get older
we start to think about life like it is that old comfortable chair. Do we really
want to start over? The answer is usually no, we just want things to be different
or maybe we want to look differently so we start to develop the slipcover analogy and start to think maybe if I could change
this or that life would be great. I guess that is why all those makeover shows
are so popular because so many of us secretly want to be made over into somebody else
When you come right down to it though as
Christians we have been given the opportunity to start over. The Bible tells
us that the moment we receive Christ as our personal Savior we are a new creation. The
old man has gone the new man has come. This starting over involves a change on
the inside where all of our attention should be focused anyway. Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man that matters
but what comes out of the heart that shows who we really are.
When you come right down to it our heart
can become like that old comfortable chair, made new and clean when covered in Jesus’ love and His bloodshed for our
sins. A heart that is no longer concerned with the past but with what a
future lived for our Lord holds. A future where we will start over with a new
body that never dies. So the next time you find yourself thinking about starting
over, try to think about how you already did and soon you realize that everything was as it was meant to be. Starting over is the thing we were created for and that is the most beautiful thought of all.