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The 10,950th Beginning
By E. Dian Moore

"Dear God, please forgive me. I sinned again today. Thanks."

I pull the bed covers up, content. I have cleared the slate with God and I'm good to go tomorrow. I'm glad he keeps forgiving me. Each night I get to start all over again.

"Dear God, please forgive me. I sinned again today. Iím really sorry and wonít do it again. Thank you."

Another day down the tubes. Will I never get it right? I start the day filled with good intentions, and before I even leave the house Ė itís too late. I have already sinned. I might as well fill the rest of the day with ugliness. God will forgive me again tonight. Tomorrow will be another fresh start.

"Dear God, please, please forgive me. I canít seem to quit sinning. I am really trying, but Iím not doing very well. I hope You will forgive me, again. Thank You."

This time I sin before I leave my bed. My first thought is how angry I am at Mother. She has become needy and clingy. I dread being with her. Canít she see Iíve got my own life to live?

"Dear God, I think I have broken all of Your Commandments. How do I stop? Canít You just stop me? Why do You let me do these things?

Today I hurt my Motherís feelings out of pure meanness. I am ashamed to approach God this time. All I do is sin, ask forgiveness; sin and ask forgiveness; then sin some more. If my child was acting this way, I would set out some harsh consequences for his behavior. I fear Godís consequences.

"Dear God. I hate asking for Your forgiveness every day. And You must be sick of it, too. Youíve given me 10,949 do-overs already."

"Dear Child, Iím only waiting for you to surrender your life to Me. If you let Me cleanse your life and make it fresh with new things, you will cease sinning over and over. Please, submit your life to Me, and I will be in charge. I promise you won't regret it."

"Iím sorry God. I canít seem to give up this control. Iím afraid of the beginning You have in mind for me. I wonít be able to have any fun in my life anymore. Besides, You know Iím a control freak."

"Hmmm. Yes, you are a controller. I think you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy what I have prepared for you, if you let go and let Me."

"Let me think about it."

Could I surrender my life to God? After all, Iíve always been the controller. I was sick from thinking of it. What would happen to my old life? Would God supply me with a brand new beginning? What does that mean Ė a new beginning? Could I survive not being in control?

Today I cursed at my husband, was mean to an old lady driver who was going too slow, and gossiped like a ... I don't know like what.

"Hi God. Itís me again. I am a terrible person and I donít deserve Your forgiveness. I canít even forgive myself. How can I be so cruel to the people I love the most?"

"When Satan controls you, as he does all who do not submit to Me, your actions and sins will continue go grow in evilness and ugliness."

"I can't imagine being any more evil than I already am."

"Sweet Child, all I ask for is your surrender. Surrender equals a new beginning. If you surrender, you will be able to rest and let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts and actions. Itís really very simple."

"I just don't know. I'm not a little kid anymore."

"I havenít changed, Child. It's you who has changed. I am still watching over you, just as I did when you were small and trusted Me with your whole heart."

"But I'm older now, and I don't know if I can change."

"You donít have to change, Child. I will do the changing from inside you. I worry your walk will lead you far away from the path which is waiting for your footsteps. Iím also afraid you are running out of beginnings."

"Iím afraid too, Father. Will You really let me start again, with a true, fresh beginning?"

"Your Beginning #10,950 started ten seconds ago. Don't forget: it's impossible to be frightened when I am in control of beginnings, middles and ends. All you have to do is hand them over."

"And Child?"

"Yes, Lord."

"When you hand your life over to Me, it's best not to keep grabbing it back."

"Good to know, Lord."

So I start to give control to my Lord who has watched over me forever. Sometimes I hand him a problem and two hours later snatch it back. I am amazed and humbled by His patience.

But the best part? The more I give to God, the more His presence becomes real; and though I still sin, I am now more able to stop myself BEFORE I sin because God's Spirit inside me is audible to my listening ear.

My sins become fewer as I become aware of the Spirit inside of me, guiding me along my way. Though I am not free of sin, and I will never be until I live in Heaven, I can now lessen the number of times I thoughtlessly sin.

"Dear God. Thank You for keeping me on my path today, for reminding me to help old-lady Simpson get into her car instead of cursing her for being so slow. Thank You for whispering, 'don't say it!' when I wanted to lash out at my secretary. Thank You Lord for helping me to recognize that when You are in control, I don't have to be. Through Your presence, I'm safe on the path You have created just for me."

"One more thing, God. Forgive me for waiting so long."
Dian Moore is a published Christian freelance writer and editor as well as the hands behind Hands for Hope, a small entrepreneurship in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. She can be found most days in front of the computer or with a book in her hands. Her website is a portal of organized links for writers, books for writers, favorite author websites and more. Visit at www.handsforhope.com and make sure to bookmark the site Ė it is updated frequently. Dian can be reached via the Your Letters page of this magazine, and welcomes comments or questions.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
I have learnt that you cannot out give God. We have come through two very lean years, and yet our giving has increased, and we have always seen the faithfulness of God. (Corinne Smelker)


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