I love turning the page.
To be honest, I always have. I try to make as much noise as I can turning the page of a book – or a pad of paper – or a calendar. I love the cracking sound. It sounds like progress to me. It feels like I’ve accomplished something, and my reward is that now I get to see what happens next.
The same can be said of when I turn a page in my life. I can’t help but see our lives as stories we’re writing and telling as we go through life. Page by page we fill up the chapters of our life because I believe that each morning we wake up to a blank page and fill it throughout the day with our thoughts and actions. Both the good and the bad. And as I look back on the chapters of my life – and forward to the unwritten page before me, I can’t shake the question, “What kind of story am I writing?”. Is the journey in this life of mine a love story? A how “not to” book? A mystery? A tragedy or maybe even a comedy?
Sometimes when I look back at some of the drivel I have written over the years, I see each of these aspects in my writing. There are flashes of a love story. A love story of how the love of Jesus Christ has brought me through some difficult times. Definitely the pages that I have filled with words are (at times) a warning of how “not to” do certain things. I also see aspects of mystery because I won’t share everything or name names when I could have and at times should have. I am glad that I have not called out certain people for how they have treated me over the years. However that does not mean I still don’t struggle at understanding how some people hide behind their Christianity. Smiles on Sunday morning but disdain and judgement on others throughout the week. That being said, I am glad that each morning I get to turn the page and see a blank sheet staring front of me. I get to start over and dwell on better things.
Probably the best words to describe my words may be linked to them being both a tragedy and a comedy. A tragedy because of the years wasted at life. I single-handedly destroyed my ministry. I did it to myself. By my own hand. There is no one to blame but me. There is tragedy found in what could have been. But what about the comedy? Yes, I still see comedy in the words that I have penned. I have experienced many things in this life that when taken in context are hilarious. There are things that have happened to me that if I did not personally experience them firsthand I would not have believed them myself. I have honestly been asked if some of the stories I have told are true and I am here to tell you that every word I have ever written is the truth of what has happened to me.
Yes… it’s been all of these descriptions at times, and more. But more than anything, as I look to the future of what I want my story to be, I want it to be an adventure. Who wants to read a story where the same thing happens page after page? No plot twists. No great success. No failure that leads someone to find to a better part of himself. Nothing out of the ordinary or unpredictable. Who would want to read that story? Who would want to live that story? Not me. I want to live my life to the absolute fullest. I want to open my eyes to be all I can be. I want to travel roads not taken. I want the life that I live for my remaining days to be an adventure.
How about you?
Here is where we stand. Some chapters of your life have now been written. For some of you, those chapters are filled with struggle and hurt. For others, the greatest success and happiest moments of your lives. But one thing we all have in common is… it’s in the past. A new year of blank pages is before all of us, ready to be filled with the greatest adventure we can dream up. A new year of second chances. A new year with another chance to get it right.
There are all kinds of obstacles in your way, tying your pages together, boarding up your heart, building walls around your dreams – doing anything and everything to stop you. It can seem easier to put yourself up on a shelf than to write a new chapter. But regardless, whether you intend to or not… your history will be written.
Even if you don’t get out of bed, your story continues. Even if you do exactly what you did yesterday, your story continues. Even lack of thought will fill the page. Even if you’re unaware that you’re creating your history in every moment of every day, with every choice and every thought your having… you are still writing your history.
Don’t let what has been dictate what will be. You have choices. Just because something has been a certain way for some time doesn’t mean it must continue. Just because you chose something yesterday doesn’t mean you have to choose it today. Even if you can’t change your circumstances, you can change your thoughts and actions. You can absolutely change the story you’re telling.
What if you would approach the new year as a blank page waiting to be filled with the greatest story you can tell? What if you would lay down your past experiences, expectations, mistakes, successes – and start fresh? What if you would reassess the importance you give all that fills your lives and choose again? What if you would walk forward knowing that if you’re still here there’s something beautiful waiting for you to discover? What if you would turn the page of the story you’ve been writing and face the unwritten page before you?
As a wise man once said:
“A person unfamiliar with their own history are destined to repeat the mistakes of their fathers.”
Welcome to your new chapter. Live it beautifully.
Now… turn the page and write it well.