2018-04-13 / Chaplain's News

New beginnings always come after failure

Chaplain (Capt.) John Fimple
707th Military Intelligence Battalion

In ancient Roman mythology and religion, the god Janus was often portrayed as having two faces. One face looked back, symbolizing the wisdom gained from the past. The other face looked ahead into the future. Figurines of Janus were often posted at doorway entrances.

Personally, my family and I are about to enter through another doorway in our life journey, as is typical for most military families. We are soon to have the moving van arrive at our house, which will be unloaded at our next duty station. Hopefully, I can carry into my future wisdom gained from my current duty assignment for the challenges that lay ahead.

Moving past an insight from ancient Rome, in my own faith tradition I annually celebrate Easter morning, which is a remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter to me is a promise that new beginnings are possible. Of course, on Jan. 1 we often talk about making new resolutions. But even more than developing a better exercise regimen, diet, etc. that is often uttered on New Years’ day, Easter to me is more inclusive.

Easter is the promise that holistic change and revolutionary ways of living are possible, as one follower of Jesus – the apostle Paul – proclaimed, “You are a New Creation. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new,” (2 Corinthians 5:17, New King James Version).

Let me invite you, whatever your faith tradition and beliefs, to give thought today to your past and to your future. Thinking of the past can include wisdom you have gained from past experiences.

Thinking of the past with a desire for a better future also means being realistic about past failures, and maybe recalling past goals or desires that are yet to be fulfilled.

Whoever you are, I believe that the entrance into a better future is possible. Dream big! Don’t be afraid to set goals that may take more than a week, month, year, or even several years to achieve.

The good thing about making new beginnings is that they are unlimited. Even though you may have made unfulfilled New Year resolutions in the past, or even spiritual or religious commitments that have failed, why not try again?

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the book of Jeremiah 18:1-6 describes how a potter had a vessel that became marred in his hands. So what did the potter do? Did he throw away the clay and start over with new clay? No, he took the marred clay and began shaping it again, until it achieved the design of his dreams. So did God say, “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel!” (Jeremiah 18:7, New International Version).

Dear friends, let us today have courage and approach with excitement new beginnings!

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