Back to the school run this week. Early starts. Fractious kitchens. Heavier traffic! I was less than a mile into the new school year when I had a lady blasting her horn at me, with the window down to tell me to move forward so she could get in behind me. I had a car coming out the other side of me that she couldn’t see but meant I could not jump to her tune. And I thought well that was a long summer off and a short very short time for the fresh start to be over.
Don’t get me wrong. I love fresh starts. I believe in beginning again. I remember when my daughters were born, thinking that they were clean sheets of paper. There was nothing on the page of their lives. They had no regrets, no failures, no fractious relationships, not even successes that they would have to strain to live up to. They were just a clean sheet full of possibility, ready for their future dreams to be written on.
The Bible speaks of fresh starts, of new creations, of rebirths. When jesus spoke to the religious leader Nicodemus and told him he needed to be born again he was saying that we all need a fresh start. I think he was thinking about that clean sheet, or maybe piece of papyrus, that was in my mind at Caitlin and Jasmine’s births. You can wipe the slate, start again. You can get rid of the guilt and regret and even the too high expectations. You have a chance to reboot.
Indeed Christians believe Jesus did more than talk about an airy fairy idea. Every Easter on Good Friday we remember that on the cross Jesus cried “It Is Finished”. We believe that he had done something that tears down the old, erases the past. Then on Easter Sunday we believe that his resurrection ushers in the potential of fresh starts.
So even if we don’t have the school calendar as our diary cycles, we all have a need at times for another chance. We all need a sorbet every now and then to refresh the palate in between courses and between one period of life and another. We all need to know that that can be finished and that here right in front of us there is the hope of a fresh start. I know I need them all the time!