One final reflection … (read Seasons Part 1 for background).
Endings Make New Beginnings Possible
Once Paul and his team had said their goodbyes, they were on their way … to Jerusalem then Rome (Acts 21:1), where he would spread the good news of Jesus even further, as well as speak to kings. Good days were ahead for him but none of this would have happened without the ending in Ephesus. Endings do make new beginnings possible.
Some chapters need to be closed before a new chapter can be written. Death is a necessary prelude to resurrection! Jesus’ life is a pattern for our life too. Some things must die so new things can grow. Endings can be opportunities for a new future. Today may be the enemy of your tomorrow. The tomorrow you envision may never come to pass if you do not end some things you are doing today. To get to a new level, a new tomorrow, or the next step, something has to end. What’s in your hand that you are holding on to that is hindering you from receiving the new things God has for you?
“True life success is doing the very best you can at where you are now then not being afraid to end that and take the next step. The endings and the great beginnings are somehow linked together. You can’t have one without the other.” Henry Cloud.
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Roman philosopher Seneca
“On the spiritual journey … each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that just closed, turn around – which puts the door behind us – and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls.” Parker Palmer
It’s been just over two years since I made a major change in my life and vocation. It involved everything we have talked about – a significant ending, letting go of the past, and grief. But despite all of this and the adjustments it has involved, Nicole and I are loving this new season of our lives. We are experiencing so much joy. I am finding my new montage of contributions meaningful and fulfilling – speaking and training others, coaching people, writing, and spending more time with my family than I have been able to for so many decades. I sure don’t miss the constant pressure and burden of leading a large, complex organisation. I am so glad I recognised the need for change and had the courage to launch out into the great unknown. No regrets!
What is God up to right now in your life journey? Are you experiencing a new beginning, an in-between time, or an ending? What has ended for you? What needs to end for you? Are you “stuck in a moment”, feeling paralysed (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually), unable to move, comfortable and content with a certain attitude or outlook? Could Someone be calling you to stand up, take up your mat, and move to a new place?
Is there a new opportunity awaiting you that will only come after a door closes (an ending)? Is there something you need to let go of, that is hindering you from receiving the new things God has for you? Maybe it is bitterness, resentment, anger, regret, guilt, shame or grief. Is it time to move on?
All the best with the seasons of your life!
P.S. If you found this series of BLOG posts helpful, you might enjoy hearing the message I gave back in 2015 where I first shared these reflections. It is called “Seasons” and it is now available on my podcast.