"Always We Begin Again"

We borrowed this month's topic from a very tiny, but vastly profound book by John McQuiston entitled the same…Always We Begin Again. The author rewrites the guiding principles for the Benedictine Order of monastic life into language fitting every layperson, inviting our embracing of the full potential each day brings.

The opening lines of this powerful read beckons each of us to enter into our day, fully focused and fully present to each and every moment as it passes into minutes and on further into hours. This Intentional Living calls us forth into conscious awareness and mindfulness that serves as a buffer from often unconsciously and unintentionally taking life, and all that it offers to us, for granted. We are, in fact, called into a space of active gratitude and respect for the privileges we enjoy as living, breathing human beings walking this life journey.

Several years ago a nephew of ours commented, "The last time I was here was . . .now!" We doubt that he was aware of what a profound statement he had just made. Talk about living in the present! It makes us wonder what kind of life this could be if we all acknowledged that every moment of our life experience is precious and un-recoverable. Might that not make us more aware of how we interact with our self as well as with others . . . what words we say . . . what actions we take? From this perspective, no moment in our life can ever be repeated; once it is past, it is gone. We are literally, from one moment to the next, always beginning a new journey. This new "beginning-in-the-moment" awareness can then become a new adventure lived on any level… behavioral, relational, emotional, or spiritual; the smallest passage of time beckoning us to step anew into creating more of what we desire for ourselves and others. This freedom of choice is continually ours, inviting us to embrace the power of beginning again at any point along our way. We do not have to wait for an accumulation of less than desirable present living to weigh us down before claiming a fresh start. We can begin now . . . or now . . . or perhaps we will do so, now.

Our invitation to each of us, as we step into the year 2012, is to do so fully conscious, eyes wide open, with proactive intentionality about the choices we will make in the next 12 months. May we do so with honor and respect for our freedom to choose to begin again anytime we feel we have lost our intended balance. May we do so fully aware that as each moment passes we are invited to, with renewed vigor and focus, begin a new journey or life adventure, even now, for "always we begin again."