Last month, as part of my confirmation process into the Episcopal church, I attended a day-long meditative retreat in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. It was a perfect day. The theme of the retreat was, “A Lenten Path to Newness.” One of the readings that our confirmation group reflected upon was a poem by John O’Donohue, For a New Beginning. This poem really spoke to me. It meant so much to me because of the wayward path I have taken to get to his moment in my life. After this reading we broke into small groups and discussed how O’Donohue’s words affected us. Most of us shared that expectations, and failed expectations, can keep us from taking risks, and tie us to things we have outgrown. But, we also know that God is patient and waiting, with the Holy Spirit, to kindle our courage and find a way of listening to our true self to empower ourselves to enter a new beginning.
After, reading the poem we were given an hour to go on a meditative walk. As I walked along the footpath I thought about how I have been blessed in my life to have many new beginnings. I have also been blessed to feel that with each new beginning I have been guided by a force greater than myself, God and the Holy Spirit. I came across a shady spot and sat down to read the poem again. I had my journal with me and was inspired by O’Donohue’s words, and perhaps the Holy Spirit, to write my own poem.
This moment of eternity
Is mine for the taking.
To live in,
To dwell in,
To step out from the sameness
Of old hurt,
And former lives.
To begin anew,
Embracing the possibility of something different.
Something that God has been waiting for me to meet.
How have you begun again in your life? What has inspired you to challenge yourself and take a risk beginning anew?