The starting line of a race can get crowded. Fortunately in most racing situations, participants agree to the rules in advance. In car racing, qualifications set the stage for a semi-orderly beginning. In short-distance sprints, participants have their own paths. Some forms of racing are chaotic. In each case, one knows what s/he is getting into before the race begins.
Life is different.
There are no rules about where we start. In the chaos of any given day, we have the opportunity to begin anew. Everyone has the same opportunity. When we look at others, it may seem like others have an advantage. It may feel like we are competing. Experience suggests that life is very different from the beginning of a race. In life, there is an opportunity for everyone to win. Life doesn’t ask for winners and losers. It is neutral in that way. Life is about opportunities to live in community and make a difference. We have the opportunity to do something with every moment that we have. Each marks a point in time from which we can measure our actions.
Starting points are important for several reasons.
When we recognize that the present is a beginning we also hold the opportunity to let go of the past. We can learn from the moments that have past. We can also reach for more than what we were. Each moment is an opportunity to steps towards our values and priorities.
Knowing our condition is critical to being successful. The movie cliché is true; every man should know his limitations. It is not a sign of weakness. Even the blunt feedback of others can help. “You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more.” (1 Corinthians 3.2)
As the light emerges on the day, I find myself at a fresh moment in time. It is a beginning that has a line under it. It holds the possibilities that I am willing to see.