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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: New Beginnings & Starting Over

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  January 1, 2020 --

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43

Despite the pessimism seen in the well-known   statement from Ecclesiastes that “There is nothing new under the sun”, there are many passages in scripture that talk of new beginnings. The one at the start of this article is only one example. For us Grangers it should remind us also of the Overseer’s charge in the third degree: “Cultivate the habit of looking for better and brighter days instead of mourning over the past.” Few things can drag us down more than mulling over the things we have done wrong. Nobody is perfect, and very few of us even get close enough to perfect to be able to see it. Yes, we should strive to make ourselves and our world better, but first rid yourself of the vision of what may have gone wrong.

In “looking for better and brighter days” do not forget to put your trust in the Lord for guidance. In the book of Proverbs, we read: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” And in the book of Jeremiah we find: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Thus for all of us there is the opportunity for new beginnings, the chance to start over again. But for assured success we should involve the Lord in our plans, repent of our past mistakes, and ask for both forgiveness and guidance. We read in the book of Job: “If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward him. If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear. You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.”



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