ARE you still sticking to a New Year’s resolution? What, you are? Congratulations! Some of us have given up making
ARE you still sticking to a New Year’s resolution? What, you are? Congratulations! Some of us have given up making them at all, having learned from past frustrations that we don’t keep them for any length of time that’s worth counting.
After all, the way to avoid failure is not to have any ambition in the first place.
But then wouldn’t life be unutterably boring without an impulse to improve, an urge to try to do better, with the inevitable risk of failure along the way?
All of us have experienced failures, and very likely will experience more.
The minor ones can be shrugged off but it’s how we deal with the major ones that’s important.
The rest of our life can be affected, not so much by the fact of having failed, but by the way in which we start again. Easter-time, just as much as New Year, is a time of new beginnings.
Before Easter, Jesus’ disciples made promises of undying loyalty to him but when the hard test came they all failed: they ran away and abandoned him to injustice, torture and death. After his death they hid away in locked rooms, fearful of detection and arrest.
Yet only a few weeks later they were preaching in public and defying the authorities who had murdered their leader.
What made the difference? The resurrection of Jesus and his gift of the Holy Spirit to his followers.
He not only forgave them but he gave them the power they needed to start again and they were so excited by their experience of him that they couldn’t keep quiet about him.
The good news about Jesus is the same as it always has been — the risen Lord is still alive and the Holy Spirit is as active as he ever was.
Those of us who feel (or know) ourselves to be failures can depend on him for forgiveness and strength for a new beginning. Easter is an ideal time to make his acquaintance.