I had a really bad breakup once. I thought we were going to get married; I had structured my whole life for months around that plan. Then I asked her and she said no.
When you are that wrong about something that important in your life, it makes you question everything, like, “What else am I utterly clueless about?” And that was what I did: my job, where I lived, my understanding of God… everything was on the table. This went on for months. Fall turned to Winter turned to Spring, and then, as it drew close to Easter, and I travelled to visit my parents for the holiday.
Sunday morning, my dad (not normally an early riser) woke me up: “C’mere! I wanna show you something.” And he led me out onto the porch, where we looked out over a dew-covered field at the sun just peeking over the horizon, the whole sky awash in the glory of the sunrise.
My dad and I have not always had the easiest relationship, but as we stood there together, the two of us just taking it in, thinking about the Easter message of resurrection, renewal, new life from the ashes, it felt like a new beginning. It felt as if the whole world were being born again. I didn’t have to be tied to a failed relationship, to past difficulties, to anything that defines me in ways that damage me. I could leave all of that in the grave and start afresh.
We always have that chance. The message of Christ is that, sometimes, there must be death in order for there to be life:
- Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.
- For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
- Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
- If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; behold, everything is made new!
The worst mistake we can make is to be looking always backwards at “when we had that chance…” Yes, there are missed chances, but there are new chances too. There is no “back in my day”. If you are still alive, then today is your day.
Today is the first day after Easter. Whatever it is that you missed in the past can be in your future too.
Christ is risen.
The end is not “the end”.