I enjoy August 1st. It’s Colorado’s “birthday”.
I was born in Denver, grew up in Colorado most of my life, and graduated from high school as a Coloradan.
August 1, 1876 was a date they made sure we remembered in school. And “The Centennial State” because it joined the union a century after it was formed. I admire Colorado Blue Spruce, the state tree, and my favorite of all flowers is the Rocky Mountain Columbine. I can’t remember the state bird, or several other things, though. Had to look them up just now.
Anyway, I enjoy beginning a new month, do you? It’s not as significant as a new year, but it marks the beginning of a new lap in a way. A new paragraph in your life-story perhaps. Maybe a whole new chapter if there’s a significant change just ahead.
New beginnings. We get one every morning. I’ve had days, even years, when I’ve been happy to say “outta here!” and welcome the new one. But a phrase caught my eye the other day that made me think about it a little. God was talking to Job and used an intriguing word picture about the beginning of the day. He said “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place that it might take the earth by the edges …? ” (38.12-13) — how picturesque!
I walk a couple of miles first thing every morning and today when I saw the sun lift itself up over the horizon near the end of my trek I remembered that word picture. I smiled to myself and pictured the sun taking hold of the earth by the edge of darkness and saying “C’mere, world. I’ve got a new day for ya'”.
Later I checked the passage again and realized the image isn’t that at all (nice as it was to picture the sun that way). The picture is more like what a throw rug went through in the hands of my grandma on cleaning day. She’d pick it up by its edges, carry it to the back porch or out into the yard a few steps, and shake that thing !!! I was always glad it wasn’t ME she was shaking! If it wasn’t part of the rug, it didn’t have a chance. Off into the air it’d fly, shaken free by a woman on a mission for cleanliness. “There! Ready for the day!” she’d smile, and the rug would go back to its place, clean and ready for whatever it was that would happen next.
The morning can do that. A new start. A good one! Clean. Fresh. Pure. Ready.
Sunday can do that. A new week. I LOVE my morning-watch extended sessions on Sunday mornings. It’s as important to me to be alone with God that way as it is that my wife and I go out Friday nights. It marks a new start. I’m glad to be in tune, in step and ready, having spent some extra time with Him.
The first of the month can do that. Page one of a new chapter. The next lap in life’s relay. The next set of 000’s on life’s odometer.
Just in case you’re wondering, the Lord has already been through this month. Nothing here is going to surprise Him. It might surprise me, or you, maybe everybody — but not Him. He loves His children deeply and He’s committed to taking care of them, year after year, week after week, day after day. Jeremiah penned some profoundly encouraging words a long time ago, if you need a deep breath of confidence or reassurance the beginning of this new month, take these words in and let them bless you.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “the LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him … (Lamentations 3.22-25)
Here comes August, friends. A fresh start. Ready? Set? Go!
(No racing, though. The 31st will be here before we’re ready.)