THE END: It’s only the beginning

“It’s not whether you got knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.” ~Vince Lombardi.

The end is only the beginning.

This cornavirus environment has brought about many end games. For you, for me, for friends and for family. Whether it’s sudden or you could see the handwriting on the wall, this is not a time to look back. That’s why the rearview mirror is so much smaller than the windshield.

Looking back brings regret and heartache. Looking forward yields hope and optimism. We have to let go of the past before we can move on though. And that can be a challenge if we start wallowing in the what ifs and the wouldas, couldas and shouldas. Especially if the “end” is through no fault of our own.

Sure, learn from mistakes, refine approaches and improve skills, but don’t get bogged down in what happened, why and other meaningless speculation or conjecture. It’s very easy to do.

Stop it, just stop it! Sometimes you just have to move on. Get up, dust yourself off and take the next step. John Mason says: “Let go of whatever makes you stop.”

You can’t move into your future as long as you still have a foot in the past. In fact, a little baseball analogy here: You can’t steal second base if you keep your foot on first.

1 Kings 18:21: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions.” Choose one (floundering in the past) or picking yourself up and moving on, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Remember, the end is only the beginning. Indeed, new beginnings are often frightening, but they are also exciting and they can be most rewarding. Just do it, even if you have to do it scared! Don’t quit, don’t give in and don’t give up.

Often times, I am exhorting you from my own experience, even though I may not say it directly. This is one of those times. Many months ago, I landed my dream job. It was so much up my alley, I didn’t even count it is a “job” on most days. But my days as a chaplain came to an end recently due to the coronavirus circus.

Over the past few months, after I began a leave of absence on March 20, Elizabeth and I determined we were not going to be idle or complacent. I set out to enhance my skills and broaden my horizon. Since the end of March, I have become a Master Financial Coach and later became a Dave Ramsey Preferred Coach. I have now entered advanced training. In recent weeks, I also completed the training to become a Registered Therapist in Colorado. Locked, loaded and ready to go!

Elizabeth has begun to hear God in a new way and obediently reaches out to people all across the country almost every day through IMs, texts, calls or written cards with words of encouragement. Nearly every time I go out to the store or an appointment, I’m dropping off one of her cards at the Post Office. Know someone who needs an encouraging card? Send her an email.

We are still helping people, just in a different way. Yes, it’s the same, just different.

In March, I didn’t realize I would never go back to my old role as chaplain. But God knew, and he led us to prepare, train and adjust our mindset. So while there are transitions and changes, we are still helping people become the best they can be.

Yes, the end is only the begining to a bright new day. We call it a new beginning!

Failure and setbacks should never cause us to give up or quit. They must be the fuel for us to get back up, dust ourselves off and move on. Your most recent setback, failure, defeat, detour or dead-end is only the beginning to your success, future, victory, accomplishment or triumph.

Is something coming to an end for you? Job? Relationship? Season in your life? Dream? It can be sad and you should mourn, but only for a short time. Remember, joy comes in the morning, so get back on the horse and get set for the new beginning.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself about this “interim” period.

  • What are 3 big takeaways from my setback that I can carry forward?
  • How can I learn from mistakes or challenges?
  • What is God saying to me right now?
  • What should I be doing to prepare for the new beginnings?
  • Is there a new skill or talent I can learn?
  • What are my next steps? Be specific and go after it! Don’t hesitate between two thoughts.

And, here’s a reminder to start your everyday with. I call it my national anthem of sorts. It plays before I get on the work field daily. It helps to remind me of who I am, the favor that is on me and Who has my back!

It helps me remember that there is a hope and a future and that I am blessed exceedingly abundantly above all I can hope or think! Always remember and never forget: No matter your circumstance, your end is only your beginning!

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