Driving down the road yesterday I couldn’t help but notice the brilliance of the colors as they exploded in the morning sunlight. The San Diego Reds were on fire, the Palo Verde burst forth green and yellow buds, even the normally dull grey mountains seemed to stretch forth towards the heavens. Everything seemed lighter, more animated somehow.

Spring is here and each day is a new beginning. To be honest, each moment is a new beginning, a fresh start a renewed hope. We can begin again in Lent, start anew, and let all that we are meant to be move in the direction towards that end.

I had a chance to look at the Christmas family pictures the other day and was amazing at the girth of my being. When did all that generous poundage apply itself to my midsection? I know it did not happen over night, rather over years of stuffing whatever I want into my mouth without a second thought. It is one thing to look at myself in the mirror disgusted, cram myself into clothes that are clearly not going to stretch over the canvas of my current self; but looking at photos illuminates reality no matter how I cover it up in the now. I do not seek to be a bikini model, or a competitor in the fitness circuit. I simply want to finally be, the best healthy me I was meant to be.

I want to stick around for the future of my kids, and grand-kids. This week two of our sons got engaged. How fun! Our family is growing. One of the greatest ways we can be good stewards of the life we are given is to strive for excellence in our humanity. To be fully alive, to be all that God imagined for us when he conceived us in his mind. I believe that means becoming the best me, physically, mentally, spiritually. It means I need to be putting the good things God provided for us into the human machine so that it produces the best results. What we eat directly affects many of the functions of the body and mind. Chocolate bars and cookies, does not a brain surgeon make. Exercise, keeps the blood pumping the pressure down and the muscles stretched and strong. Reading and increasing my knowledge will help keep the brain active and alert. Spiritual practices remind me that we are not just flesh and bone but spirit meant for an eternal reality.

This life is only the journey, the true destination is heaven but we don’t get there by accident, or default. It takes work and determination to do good, be good and  make a difference where we are planted. We are to be Christ’s hands, feet, and heart to a hurting world. People need models to follow, leaders to lead and witnesses to observe.

What are we reading? What are we watching and letting into our hearts and heads? How do we treat one another? How do we respond when we are rejected, dismissed, persecuted? Do we turn the other cheek, or flip the bird? Patience only grows when we practice it. Love only expands when we open our hearts to let others in.

I am beginning anew today. I am hoping this time it sticks and it becomes a habit for the whole of my life, however long that might be. I hope to make it something memorable, something worth witnessing and something that becomes a little sign that points to the ONE road that leads to eternal happiness and joy.

Happy new beginnings, happy lent, happy today!!

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