It’s summer, a new season, which often marks for some of us a new beginning. What does it mean to pursue new beginnings? Michael Gerber said many years ago in one of his great books that new beginnings are about “a blank piece of paper and a beginner’s mind.” You have to unpack the presuppositions and the former ideas, maybe even let go of some of the successes you had in the past, and most definitely letting go of the failures you’ve experienced in the past, and start with a clean sheet of paper.
Design the life you want. Design the year you want. Consider the possibilities and remind yourself they really do exist. Pull your dreams out of the closet and begin to frame a beautiful, productive, effective future. This is what new beginnings are all about.
The idea of a new beginning frightens some because they view the possibility of a new beginning through the prism or the lens of what they’ve experienced in the past. Even taking recent past into account can be overwhelming. Worldwide, we’ve had some tremendous challenges, economically, socially, politically. There is a lot of chaos, a lot of negativity and, frankly, a lot of toxicity in our world right now.
But you and I can choose not to start from that place. We can choose to start with a positive, hopeful attitude. We can choose to start from a place of faith and belief that whatever it is that God has planned for us is still there. Nothing going on around me can discourage me unless I allow it, can disqualify me unless I allow it, or can cause me to be unable to wrap my hands and my heart and my life around the thing God has placed before me.
We’re in this world. We’re not of this world. Don’t get stressed out to the point of overwhelm or shutting down. Don’t allow anyone to tell you you cannot pursue whatever dream is on your heart. There is no better time to start than right now.
I’m a pilot, as many of you know. I love to fly. I love everything about aeronautics and aviation, the science of flight. I love it. Many years ago, as pilots and scientists were looking at how we could break the sound barrier, we created several types of aircraft, and finally, we came to the point where we were able to produce a piece of machinery that had the potential to break through the sound barrier.
As an aircraft comes towards the sound barrier, approaches speed, and it gets to that point where it’s just a couple of miles per hour, so to speak, from breaking through that invisible barrier, in the microseconds just before the breakthrough, there is more stress on the airframe of that aircraft. The engines are under tremendous duress. In fact, that aircraft is very vulnerable to coming apart. You can even feel the tremor in the controls, the tremor on the aircraft because it is pushing up against a barrier that is trying to keep it behind the noise.
If you’ve ever been behind a jet aircraft or ever been behind a loud truck or behind something, you know that the distraction, the noise, the power, if you remain behind it, you’re going to remain in the wake of the difficulty. But breaking into a sound barrier is about pushing through the stress.
What do you and I do as we go along and begin to feel the stress, strain, and pushback? We typically throttle back, and we want to get further behind so we’re not feeling the tension or the stress of what’s possible. We look for a way out, for an escape, for the comfort of what we already know.
What happens when we push through, though? It’s the difference of putting your hand on the throttle. Instead of throttling back because of the pressure you feel, you’re going to notch it forward just a little bit. All it takes is a small adjustment in the forward direction to push you beyond the veil, to push you beyond the pressure, to push you beyond what has been pushing back against you.
You have everything it takes to push forward and break new ground. New beginnings. Believe again. Think big again. Please do not look at your future through the prism of what you’ve once come through. Look at your future through the eyes of the God who created you and has great things planned for your life.