a blank canvas

This weeks Sunday recap is by guest writer Gabe. 

With every new year, it seemingly marks a fresh start. It’s a blank canvas.

The possibilities of what we can do with that clean, blank canvas are infinite. For some, it is exciting - all those possibilities, all those choices, all those opportunities. 

For me, staring at that blank canvas, like I am staring at a blank screen right now – those same possibilities, those same choices, those same opportunities – is overwhelming. What if I make a mess of it? What if I make a mistake? What if I choose wrong? What if it doesn't come out the way I expected? What if it’s not perfect?

We often talk about a fresh start – it's a lovely idea we pay lip service to, but rarely do we allow ourselves to truly start fresh. From scratch. That's because we carry with us the burdens of our past.

Our bumps. 
Our bruises. 
Our scars.
Our mistakes. 
Our bitterness. 
Our hurt.
And so, our canvas is no longer the masterpiece we set out to make;
It's not what we hoped for or expected.

So what can we do? 

We can slap a coat of white on it, we cover (or more aptly, mask) it with primer and try to start over. Sure, the canvas is blank on the surface, but it's not a perfect blank canvas is it? The strokes laid down previously can still be felt. The bumps, the bruises, the scars are still there. 

Someone once said to me, the past is in the past. The past shapes us. The past teaches us. But the past does not define us. The past is who we were – not who we are. As Christians we are new creations. 

New.
Not recycled. 
New.

And here's the amazing thing: God wants to give us a true fresh start. He wants to take our old canvas, hang it up, air it out and give us an entirely new, blank canvas. Untainted. Untouched. He wants us to draw, to paint, to create beautiful things with Him. And the awesome part? If we make a bit of mess of it along way, guess what? He's lovingly there with a new blank canvas.

- Gabe

“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” - 2 corinthians 5:17