Starting Over

Revelation 21:5, “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’.”

Legos. Everytime I see a Lego I think of starting over. I know that seems strange but if you will give me a few minutes I will explain. It’s like this…I love Legos. When we lived in Minnesota I loved going to the Mall of America. At that time they had a Lego store situated somewhere near the middle of the mall. In that store were some of the most elaborate Lego masterpieces you could possibly imagine. Yes, that’s right, I said masterpieces. Entire “worlds” built out of Legos. Worlds that were filled with amazing detail and built with obvious painstaking effort. I never went into that store without walking away just amazed at the artwork that someone had constructed with Legos.

Much of my wonder comes from my own lack of skill. I was that kid who would tear open the new box and immediately toss the instructions aside. I didn’t need a plan or a set of directions. I was convinced that by just looking at the picture on the box I would be able to reconstruct the elaborate design featured in the photo. Never happened. Not once. After a number of futile efforts the best I could ever come up with was a pile of interconnected blocks that did not even remotely resemble anything real. I had worked hard. I had given it my best effort. But what I held in my hands looked nothing like the picture on the box. Far, far from it. My best attempts had merited nothing of value.

In my frustration I would take this “mess” right to my father. “Daddy, can you fix this?” My dad would take my work in his hands, look down at me and ask me one question. “Where are the directions? If you are going to build it right, you have to use the instructions.” I would head back to my bedroom and after about 15 minutes of searching, I would return to my father with the newly found instructions (usually, they had ended up under the bed somehow). Now, with the instructions spread out before us my dad would begin the work of starting over. The first part was always the hardest. My dad would begin by dismantling what I had already created. Piece by piece. He would undo my “mess” and place all the pieces out before us. Then with the directions right before me he would guide me through each step until the indiviual pieces came together to look just like the photo.

Starting over. Why has our society assigned such a negative connotation to that phrase? We say it almost apologetically. “I’m sorry but I am going to have to start over.” The idea seems to be one of mistake, failures, of not getting it right the first time. Honestly, I don’t see the problem. I like the idea of starting over. Why? Because I live in that world. I have messed up more times than I care to admit. My life is filled with mistakes and failures. In fact, my life is a lot like that pile of Legos on most days. “Mess” is a very accurate word. Countless are the times that I have picked up my life, come to the Father, and asked him that very same question, “Daddy, can you fix this?” Never once has He said “no“. Yes, there are times when He reminded me of my need to pay attention to the instructions. I had made a mess because I neglected the directions. Yes, there were times when He had to take everything apart one piece at a time. Those seasons have been particularly difficult. But in the end I find that He is making all things new. It has been 20 years now. And although I am far from perfect, I find that my life resembles His image a little more with each passing day. I’m not there. But by His grace and power, I am getting a little closer every day. Starting over is not bad. Starting over means another chance… another chance for joy, another chance for hope, anther chance for life. Yeah, I’m all for starting over.

In fact, I think I’m going to go play Legos with my son right now.