For the next few months, this blog will occasionally look at the concept of choice. It is true that “Life is a sum of all your choices.” But do we even realize that every response involves a choice, that we always have a choice?
St. Bonaventure tells us in his Life of St. Francis that towards the end of his life, St. Francis would say to the friars, “Let us begin again, brothers. For up to now we have done little or nothing.” Thomas of Celano,Francis’ first biographer say, “He was always new, always fresh, always beginning again—ready for the absolute newness of God.” His band of brothers revolutionized traditional Catholic lifestyle and theology, but he told them to always begin again.
Beginning again is a choice that we all need to make daily. If yesterday was a nightmare, then starting fresh is the only option. If yesterday was glorious, then starting fresh is the only option. We can’t make up for the past; we can’t plan the future. The only day we can live is today – which is fortunate because “now” is the only place we will find God.
But Francis doesn’t just say to start over. He adds that we haven’t seen anything yet. Do you wake up each morning wondering what new thing God has planned for you? Are you always dreaming about what could be? When you see God providing a stepping stone do you immediately step on it and wait expectantly for the next one?
Perhaps we can spice up a sluggish or humdrum life by waking up everyday with the attitude of beginning again and by following God to new thinking, new growth, and new experiences – and new spiritual maturity.