Each week, the Monday box in my planner is filled with the to-do’s for the coming week. It’s nothing extraordinary — just me jotting down the things one might need to accomplish in the span of seven days: appointments, shopping lists, things to send, things to write, calls to make. Sometimes “remove old toenail polish” even makes the list. You just never know.
Not only is list-making an excuse to write something down on an honest-to-goodness piece of paper in the age of e-everything, it’s just so helpful to have all of those tasks out of my head and onto the page. Mommy brain, anyone? If it’s not written down, it’s gone. Am I right?
But do you know what my favorite part is? (Besides crossing things off the list, of course.) It’s the magic that happens the next Monday when I transfer all the undone things from the last week to the new list. Enter the fresh start. Clean and new. Just like a brand-new box of crayons.
I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t appreciate the chance to begin again when things don’t go as planned. But it’s funny, why do we think we can only start something new or start over when all the stars have aligned and the conditions are perfect?
I’m thinking it’s the same reason diets start on Mondays and resolutions start on January 1st. We love the ceremonial starts because it allows us to procrastinate a little bit longer before settling down to do the quiet work it takes to succeed in the long run.
What we need to realize is that each new day, hour, or minute holds so much possibility. It’s so beautiful. If we’re having a wonky day, a fresh start is as close as our next breath. If we raise our voice at our kids, a fresh start can begin as soon as the next words leave our lips.
I love that, don’t you?
Today might not be the right day to go after all the things we’d like to be doing as a means of starting fresh, because there’s this little thing called times and seasons. In Ecclesiastes 3:1, King Solomon puts it this way:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
But perhaps it’s the right time for some of those things.
Today’s a good day to dig into your Bible. Was there ever a bad day?
Today’s a good day to start eating well, even if it’s not a Monday. (Except it is.)
Today’s a good day to move past your past. Because you aren’t defined by that anymore.
Today’s a good day to forgive. It’s a 2-for-1 fresh start special because two will benefit from this one.
Today’s a good day to hold your tongue. Perhaps harder than most?
Today’s a good day to be undistracted and focused on the people in your life. Ooh. This one.
Today’s a good day to be thankful.
But most of all, today’s a good day to come clean. Resulting in the best fresh start of all.
In Psalm 51, we read words that were pouring out of David’s broken and convicted heart after he’d been exposed by the prophet Nathan following his adultery with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband Uriah. David didn’t want to run anymore. He was ready to come out with it. So he went to the One who specializes in fresh starts.
If David gets a do-over, then we most certainly will too. All we have to do is ask.
So what will it be? Are there any fresh starts you’ve been putting off?
Today’s as good a day as any.