“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” John 3:4
Many of us would laugh at Nicodemus, yet the question of how a 27 year old starts over is one I have been asked over and over again for the past 3 months. I don’t know how far many 20-27 or even 40 year-olds have come as far as life is concerned but I know those are quite some years not to have done something in your life. Most common would be getting an education, growing in your chosen career and even having a family of your own.
At 27, I do have an education and a career that I love! But I guess from early on I always knew that there was another path I was meant to take. Some of us are blessed to find our purpose and passion in life and go for them, some of us have no clue, and we just sail through life living under other people’s shadows, expectations or their dreams for us. Some, like me, do have an idea about what their life is supposed to be about yet take the easy way out or choose the road most traveled.
I wonder which category you fall under. What are you planning to do about it? And most importantly how long are you going to ignore the calling or conviction of the Holy Spirit? You see, we live in a world where everything is generally dictated for us. You are born, cared for and provided for by your parents, you grow up and go through sixteen years of education, you get your ID at eighteen and luckily by twenty-two get your first job, move out of your parents’ house at twenty-four – that’s when life truly begins for you! You casually date here and there, nothing too serious. Several jobs and promotions later you meet this amazing man/woman and you get married. One year later, you have a baby and now you have your own family depending on you and soon as age forty clocks in, you have your dad and mum depending on you as well.
Responsibilities day in, day out. The last thing you have time for is you, what you want, what you need and really where you are going. You spend ten hours at work, two hours catching up with friends over drinks, two hours with your family, nine hours sleeping and you’re up again to do it all over! Weekends are mainly divided between your own and extended family. Don’t even get me started on where you get the extra hours to watch TV! You manage to squeeze in a few hours for church and guess what – its Monday again! See, you’re not complaining, really. Because you love your family, you love your job and everything is fine, your living up to the society’s standards and all is well. That thought in the back of your mind, however… that voice you have suppressed, keeps you second-guessing yourself. What if there is another path, another way that your life is supposed to be different, what if your calling is much higher than what you are settling for?
In all honesty, for how long can we settle? How long can we settle in the jobs that we have, in the relationships we’re in, in the system of education that we still let our children go through yet knowing it’s not the right one! Don’t you think if God wanted us all to be the same he would have made us the exact same way?
There is a reason why we are all different and have different abilities, talents, capabilities, character, values, temperaments etc. We all have a role to play in life. We all have something greater to achieve and something small to give. We are all capable of change, changing our attitude towards life, towards people, towards God. We all have a chance to start over.
The one thing that I have never doubted at any given time is God’s love for me. You see God is love and He loves us (John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have eternal life). With God, it doesn’t matter where you have been, what you have done, what people have said about you or even what you think and say about yourself, The Bible says in Mathew 11 :28, Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. See, you’re His child, His creation made in His image. One of the greatest promises He gives us is that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
As another year begins, I am starting over. I am giving it all up for Christ because I can’t hide anymore. I can’t hide in my work, in my playing small in life and just settling! I have dedicated this year to serving Him and truly finding His purpose for my life. Many friends, workmates and family have had a few things to say concerning this decision, but let’s be honest. It’s your life to live, and you can’t always please everyone. The most important thing is that it pleases God.
For some of you, starting over might be as practical as changing your attitude, taking responsibilities for your actions, forgiving people, picking the phone and mending broken relationships, making a decision to fight temptation, dressing decently or even exercising! For others it requires huge steps like taking on a promotion, leaving a job, tearing up divorce papers, making peace with absentee fathers and mothers, and coming to a point of realizing that when all that was happening God was there and what He did, is that He did not let you go, He held you and He comforted you, He kept you and grew you to the person you are today.
They say it takes 40 days to form a habit or get rid of a habit. I say it takes God, period! The journey to starting over is not easy, nor is it pretty but it’s possible! Mathew 19:26 says, Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
As you write down resolutions for the year ahead, as you make your long term plans, ask yourself this: Are you really living your life in full? Are you living the life that God meant for you or are you living your life your own way, or society’s way? Are there things in your life that need to change or that you need to add? Are there habits that you need to change or cultivate, are there people you need to let go or hold on to, and are there relationships you need to break or mend?
God is with you throughout this process. Go ahead. Dare to start over.
(I wrote this in January…..Life is beautiful with Jesus, let no one ever tell you different 😉