Beginning again has both joys and sorrows, fluctuating day to day. It is the same whether we are getting married again; starting over in a parent-child relationship; starting a new business after a natural disaster or fire; calling a new pastor or rabbi or imam; or building a new temple, as is told in the Book of Ezra in the Bible.
The people who have been successful in their new beginnings have several things in common. The story of rebuilding the Temple following the Babylonian captivity includes these common elements, too.
Accept the fact that the new will not be like the old. So often we bring to our new beginnings all the good and bad of the old. What we bring is “excess baggage” that burdens and blinds us to the wonderful possibilities of the new beginning. By focusing on the past, there is no way to focus on the present and the future.
The new cannot be exactly like the old; therefore, when we have such expectations, we set ourselves up for disappointment and disillusionment. The new will be different. We are to accept that difference as having merit. Since life is always a trade-off, new beginnings mean we will gain some new pluses, if we will turn loose of the old and focus on the new.
It is not going to be easy. It is never easy to start over again. It is always the unforeseen that hits us like an ambush in the night; therefore, we need to make allowances for the unexpected.
When we are into a new beginning, we definitely need to allow time and energy for the unforeseen (the flat tire). Everything is going to take a little more understanding, patience, consideration, love and forgiveness. We need to be less critical and more complimentary, less demanding and more giving, less grumpy and more conciliatory, for it is never easy to start over.
Prioritize working on the new beginning. It is so easy to “major on the minors.” Some of the Jews who had returned to rebuild the Temple became more interested in rebuilding their homes than concentrating on the primary reason they returned to Jerusalem. New beginnings require that we prioritize in order to accomplish what is most important at the time.
God will be with us. God never said beginning again would be easy. God has promised that he would be with us to meet head-on all hindrances to achieve the desired goals, which God wants us to accomplish. This promised presence sometimes is the single source of encouragement that makes us keep on keeping on with our new beginning. God will enable us to overcome all obstacles and setbacks It is not all up to us. The steadfast love of God endures forever. Amen, amen!