By Adam Moore
I returned home from work late one night last week, later than I usually do. I parked in the back behind the condos, sat in my car for a minute finishing whatever song by The Beatles I was listening to at the moment, and finally turned the engine off and gathered my things. As I approached the doors to the small lobby area, I saw the lady standing over the bag of clothes, looking labored and worn down and at a loss. I asked her if she needed help, and she quietly and immediately said yes. I picked up a couple bags to carry to her car, and she suddenly looked up at me and asked me
“Do you believe in God?”
“Yes, I do,” I answered, a bit taken aback by a relatively common question that I actually don’t think I’d ever been asked before.
She looked back down and continued loading her car.
“Well, God sent you to me tonight. I didn’t think there would be anyone here to help me but now here you are!” she replied. She spoke with a thick accent as she told me that she is 80 years old and lives alone just down the hall from me.
I helped her pack up the rest of her car, shook her hand, and went on my way. As I walked up to our condo, I walked down the other side to see the name on room 305, where she said she had just moved in: Annini. Well, Ms. Annini, I am the one who’s thanking you today. I am thanking you for the reminder that even at 80 years old, we have new experiences and fresh starts. See, contentment is a thing with which I greatly struggle.
When I was in high school, I often was so excited for college and a change of scenery. And once I got to college, of course, I so greatly missed home. But through this small interaction, I am reminded of how faithful the Lord is through moments of continuity and chaos alike. He is a God who is not shaken, because He is a God who was not shaken thousands of years ago when His own son was crucified for the sins of the world. Jesus is the ultimate new beginning. Jesus is redemption personified, and Jesus is new mercies awaiting us every morning, even after the very worst of sins.
My relationship with beginnings is one of great fear — I remember being frightened to leave Mom’s side in preschool as vividly as I remember being frightened to move in at WKU — but what’s remarkable is the miracle of the Lord’s faithfulness through every beginning, every new year in which I try, and fail, to set resolutions which will make me a better moral human. Jesus gently reminds me in some unique way every day, sometimes through an 80 year old neighbor, that He is the only true source of fresh starts in this life.
I encourage you in this new year to fix your eyes on Him as a well of new mercies every single day. Don’t allow the pressure of New Year’s Resolutions and the guilt of failure weigh you down, because the “fresh start” that we celebrate in the coming of a new year is a fresh start that we are able to celebrate every single day in Him. Life is crazy and life is hectic, but don’t be afraid to slow down. Don’t be afraid to live fearlessly, even in the moments in which you are unsure of yourself. Often times, moments of uncertainty and new beginnings are the very moments in which Jesus speaks most clearly to our souls, to find mercy and find rest in Him, and in Him alone.
Author Bio: Adam Moore, is a freshman at Western Kentucky University by way of Christian Academy of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. When he is home in Louisville he works as a waiter at a nursing home, which he can confidently say has been the single most rewarding experience of his life. Long ago Jesus saved his life, and is continuing to change and refine him every single day. He is a psychology major at WKU, and his current plan is to pursue his PhD and go into counseling, something very near and dear to his heart.