The God of Do-Overs (what New Years reminds me of)

At midnight tonight, we’ll usher in a new year– 2013 is over, and 2014 will begin. Whether 2013 was a good year for you, or a bad, new beginnings are on the doorstep.

One of the things I love about New Years eve, is that it reminds me that God is a God of do-overs. While we only get to start a new calendar year every January 1st, I believe that with God, any day moment can be New Years. As I dig deep into the scriptures, instead of the fundamentalist God who is burning from the nostrils to destroy us, I find a loving and generous God who invites us to continually have a do-over.

The one thing that I’ve never been able to fully wrap my head around, is the idea that God loves me. On one hand it is completely unbelievable, and on the other it is unfathomable. This single thing– the idea that God might actually love me– is what keeps me drawn to the Christian message. One of the aspects that continually invites me to believe that God may in fact love me, is that he’s always reminding me that any moment can be my New Years.

This moment, can be a do-over.

I need not be a slave to my past. I need not be defined by my past, and I certainly don’t have to live in my past. Instead, I can perpetually live in New Years– celebrating a do-over whenever I realize that one is needed. That’s how I know God loves me… I keep getting all of these do-overs even though I know in my heart, I don’t deserve any of them.

As kids, I remember when we played games we’d often shout, “no do-overs”. But thankfully, I don’t see that with God. In reality, I see God as the one who is always reminding us that in fact, we CAN have a do-over– if we want to. All of those characters in the Bible we often call “Bible Heroes”? Yeah– they weren’t quite that. They were just people who realized that God invites us to embrace that he’s the God of do-overs.

Moses? He was a murderer but God gave him a do-over.

David? He was an adulterer AND a murderer, but God gave him a do-over.

Paul? He was a mass murderer of Christians no less, and God gave him a do-over.

Page after page throughout God’s story in scripture, I see that the people who make a difference in God’s story are not the people who have their crap all in one bag but instead are the people who embrace the truth that God is a God of do-overs.

Any year, any day, any moment, can be your do-over. You need not be a slave to your old story. You need not continually play those old tapes in your head. You need not be captive to your old identity.

Today can be  your do-over. And, if you need it, tomorrow can be too– because God is the God of almost never-ending do-overs.

As long as your heart is beating, you can have one.

Why? Well, because I’m convinced that he loves you. And, when you love someone, you give them as many do-overs as they need– even if that comes at a high price to your own self. Jesus, I believe, paid his very life so that you and I might know and fully experience, that God is a God of do-overs.

I don’t know what your 2013 was like, but between the champagne and confetti I hope you’ll also celebrate that God is inviting you to experience a do-over in whatever area of your life you need one. Whether it is your job, your marriage, your finances, your spiritual vitality, friendships, or anything else– God invites you to have a do-over wherever you need one.

He’s purchased your right to have one, and now it’s free for the taking.

Playing those old tapes and being a slave to your old identity? There’s no life in that. But, there is life to be found in accepting your opportunity to have a do-over.

Believe it.

Embrace it.

Own it.

Because God is the God of do-overs!

 

“Look! I am making everything NEW!” – God (Rev 21:5)

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  • Jill Roper

    I am so thankful that God is a God of do-overs, amen and amen brother, preach it! The difference between living as a victim and living as a victor is the knowledge that God invites us in, every day, every hour and every moment. In the movie Anne of Greene Gables her teacher and mentor tells Anne walking along on the road, that each day is brand new with no mistakes in it. Profound theology Ben.
    The tapes I was raised with were that I would never amount to anything but a prostitute and that God gave me check marks and X’s at the end of each day. If I died he would count up the checks and X’s and if I had more X’s than checks I was thrown into hell. No way to train a child. God is just the opposite. I am a daughter of the King and you Ben are a son of the King, believe it and embrace it. Happy New Year!
    Blessings,
    Your covered sister

  • CroneEver

    Amen!

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    I really needed to read this. Seriously, thank you. Tears were filling my eyes and God’s presence was felt in your words. God bless you and your family this NEW year!

  • Jay McDaniel

    Do you think it is possible that we get a million second chances? Here’s hoping, along with the author of this article, the Episcopal priest Teri Daily: http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/may-i-try-that-one-again-the-grace-of-a-million-second-chances.html