Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Fresh Start

Have you ever had the opportunity for a fresh start?  The opportunity to go somewhere new, where nobody knows who you are, free of preconceived impressions, and just start a new phase of life?  Not that you necessarily needed a fresh start, but the opportunity presented itself, and you made the most of it.  I’ve had that opportunity several times when moving to a new area or a new job.

I remember when I went away to college for my freshman year.  All through high school I had been extremely shy.  I felt awkward in groups that were outside of my small circle of friends.  And I was scared to death if a pretty girl directed any attention my way!  I had no idea what to do or what to say.  But when I got to college, I found a multitude of people, especially girls, that I didn’t know, and they were unaware of my shy tendencies.  I made the most of that opportunity, established many new friendships, and met my beautiful wife while in college.

My wife and I started our married life in south Florida, where we knew nobody.  We were free to establish our identity as a married couple among new friends who had no previous impressions.  We moved several times the first few years, and each time, we had the opportunity to make new impressions.  Each time, we probably changed a little, just because of our new surroundings and new social groups.

It’s not always necessary to move, change jobs or churches in order to get a fresh start.  Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a change in attitude or in our treatment of others.  Last Sunday I listened to a sermon on Philippians 2:3, which says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  We probably don’t realize how self-centered was really are.  How much would your life change if you made a conscious effort to treat others as more significant than yourself?  Would it change the way you treat the server at a restaurant or the person who wants to move into your lane on the highway?  Would your friends or co-workers notice a change in your behavior or demeanor?

It may be time for a fresh start!


  1. I remember you were very quiet in high school, but I know you had a reputation for being a very nice gentleman.

  2. Thanks for the words of wisdom Joel! I've never had the opportunity to relocate, but when I changed jobs, the opportunity existed to present myself differently. I had the ability to help form first impressions of me. Therefore, since 1st impressions really do appear to be lasting ones, I remained very aware of not attempting to falsify the true me, but to display the best of me as a child of God, a born again Christian. But with every employer (esp. the larger corporations), there were always the few co-workers who had preconceived notions about everyone & everything. I decided it was best to turn those souls over to Christ, because He alone had the ability to change EVERYTHING about them.
    Since I became ill in Aug. 2001, from contracting a post surgical staph infection after a "routine" back surgery for a ruptured disc, which almost cost me my life, but instead has left me permanently physically disabled, EVERYTHING about my life as I used to know it has changed! Yes, the physical side of this different life has been extremely difficult for all of my wonderful family. The forced endurance of handling the business aspects that follow the 180 direction of a life for w
    hich you never prepared for in your future is sometimes more difficult than your worst pain! The reason is very simple. The people you have to deal with on the phone don't treat you as the intelligent person you still are, but their preconceived vision is that you are an uneducated, lazy bum who has no regards for paying bills. I won't bore you by falling into the abyss with my selfish "woe is me" events. But, one of the lessons (along with many more in the past, present, & future) that I am learning is humility!! Just before my new journey began, I was finally recovering from divorce - finalcially at least - plus I had a great career & at long last making a great salary. My kids were 9 & 13 years old then, & the 3 of us were able to really enjoy being a peaceful family. I now realize I was measuring my success with these.... $$$$$. I will never regain my health, but Joel, the Lord sure has a way of reminding us what really is the true measure of success! But most importantly, along this long, difficult road, I have gained a huge heap of humility!!! It's difficult, because my blood boils when esp. women on the phone treat me like I had a lobotomy vs. multiple back surgeries, a broken hip, etc........ But now when I talk to people, via the phone or face to face, I am always very careful to treat them the way I expect to be treated, with kindness & respect!

  3. You were kinda quiet back in high school. You were also very smart and very kind. I considered it a privilege to call you friend back then & certainly do now as well. So grateful God gives us all chances for fresh starts throughout out lives!