Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Beginning

A few years ago, the manufacturer of my skin care products went through a process of rebranding. Already a mature product with strong market presence worldwide, I wondered what more they wanted. But they wanted to be relevant to the current times and more relevant to the younger generation. The same high quality products came out in new packaging with a more interactive website among others.
At the end of last year, I received the news that a number of friends and old colleagues I worked with several years ago came to the end of their contracts with the organization. For some it was early retirement and for others it was separation. Their positions were abolished. Still full of energy I wondered what next especially at such a challenging time as this.
The New Year thus began with different scenarios for different people—uncertainties about the future, seemly dead ends, simply dissatisfied with the old ways of doing business or with unyielding hope—whatever our story may be it is an opportunity for a new beginning. God is timeless but He has given us times and seasons to help us number our days so we can apply our hearts to wisdom. Wisdom dictates we don’t waste time bemoaning our challenges but we redeem time and use it profitably because we know He has control over all the changing times and seasons of our lives.
The beginning of a new year therefore stands as a milestone to which we can connect as we set goals and from which we can measure accomplishments and recount God’s victories in our lives. It is a good point to revisit dreams, goals and aspirations.
When flowing water meets an obstacle, depending on its volume and the speed at which it is coming, it may pile up behind the barrier until it has enough volume to flow over it and if the force with which it is flowing is strong enough it will push the barrier out of its way. Water—full of energy and force will change course—bounce over rocks, meander around bends or spread out across the plain—it will keep flowing until it finds a new level. Hence the saying that water will always find a way to move forward. Sometimes it will flow through crevices and ridges—very tight places—to keep moving.
There is never a dead end for flowing water. Although a giant dam may hold it back for a time while its energy is turned into another form until the right conditions trigger it to move forward. Never a dead end is a mind set we ought to have in this year. Not a dead end but an opportunity for a brand new beginning. Limitations then become a launching pad to a new level.
Faced with obstacles, limitations or challenges we must refuse to stagnate. Like flowing water, we need to find a way to overcome them—a way for a continuous flow—drill a tunnel under it, build a bridge over it or find a way around about it. This will involve recognizing our latent gifts, skills and talents, and identifying how to package or repackage them to be relevant in our current environment. We may need to rebrand our image to satisfy the needs of those we serve.
For some this may be a time to prepare for a new level—for an opportunity to show up—by acquiring new skills or adapting old ones. For others it may be necessary to redirect talents or channel them in a new direction. As the energy in water gathering behind a dam is harnessed to produce electricity, so also can we harness our energy and gifts to produce something new when we are faced with what appears to be a dead end. The point is to resolve not to be satisfied with the status quo but determine to set out to gain new levels. While waiting for the full manifestation of answers to prayers, dreams to come true and desires to be fulfilled, we must not be content to idle away the time.
By keeping our goals and dreams in focus we can find a different way to reach that goal. We need a relentless determination not to give up, a willingness to keep trying and passion or desire to make our dreams come true. When there is a will there is always a way. We just have to be imaginative and creative. Above all of these, we need to trust in God who has promised to make a way where there seems to be no way.
As 2012 begins, if we put our trust in God and look up to Him, He will instruct and guide us in the way to go and counsel us with His eyes upon us – Ps 32:8. In the words of Avalon’s New Day, I thank God it is a brand new day. It is a brand new year and a brand new opportunity for a new beginning.
I wish you a happy and prosperous 2012 filled with hope for brand new beginnings.

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