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New Beginnings... By Chris Bryant

Different points during the year carry a new beginning. The actual “New Year” is the biggest and most embraced, but there are others. The start of a new school year has new challenges and new hope. A birthday or anniversary presents opportunities to start fresh or to claim something new. Even the beginning of a sports season carries undertones of new life and for some, grand expectations. After all, everyone thinks they are going to be this year’s “champ” before the first game is played. Sometimes it is the not-so-nice parts of life that give us the same opportunity to start fresh, to look at things in a new light, even if doing so is not pleasant. A diagnosis, a death of a loved one, a divorce, these are times when we also consider how life must start

over, how things will be different, perhaps even radically different. How do you handle the possibility of a new beginning? Do you run wild, without serious thought to the future, desperate for everything or maybe just anything to be different? Do you approach it carefully, thoughtfully, maybe even suspiciously, leery of all the unknowns? Do you ignore it? Deny it? Do you continue life as it has been, despite the fact that there is no way it can be? Close friends and trusted acquaintances are invaluable towards successfully navigating both of these wonderful and not-so-nice opportunities to begin again.

Spiritual guidance from those who both love God deeply and love you truly (enough to be truly honest with you) is something we really can’t afford to live without. A new beginning is certainly around the corner. It might not be as significant as those I mentioned, or it might be the most serious transition you have ever experienced. Are you prepared to make the best of it? Will your life be better after going through it? My experience is that a lot will depend not only on who you are, but the people around you.

Chris Bryant is lead pastor at City On A Hill United Methodist Church. 678-445-3480, COAHUMC.org

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