Spring is my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of fresh flowers, the warmth of the sun greeting a new day, and the joy of new beginnings found in nature all around me. In the spring, I feel as if I can do almost anything. Spring is a time of forgetting the past, leaving winter behind, and looking forward to the future with renewed energy.
Today becomes the by-word. Yesterday is gone and, I cannot change it. Tomorrow is only a dream, not even a promise, but today, today is mine. Today I can start the diet, write the letter, send a postcard to a friend, and take my granddaughter to lunch. Today I can put into motion all those marvelous ‘what-ifs’ niggling in the outer edges of my mind. Today I start again.
Spring is a time for forgiveness and change. Beginning again implies we failed the first time and maybe a second, third or more. But, in the spring we forget all that and our hope is renewed; the possibilities are endless.
To harness all the power of this season requires a deep resolution on my part. I must be willing to put the past behind me, forgive myself, and anyone else involved in my failures, and look forward. This is not always easy for our frail human nature. Jesus is the ultimate example of forgiveness. He forgave me, and he has forgiven millions of others for horrendous deeds.
If Jesus can withstand the indignity of the cross and continue to love us, why do we have such a hard time forgiving ourselves and each other?
Un-forgiveness is the acid that eats our hopes away. How can we expect to move forward if we are chained to the past by hatred and Un-forgiveness? Families that master the art of forgiving can have a positive impact anywhere. Families, who harbor grudges, refusing to see the other person’s perspective, live in anger, hate, and resentment that will, by its very nature destroy them.
Learning to live a life of mercy is not easy. It requires pain and struggle. People hurt us both intentionally and unintentionally. We must remember that they and they only, will answer to God for their actions. We will account for our own. When we trust God to keep score, our minds are free to do other things. We can concentrate on the important things in life with fewer lines and wrinkles.
While learning the art of forgiving others we must not forget to forgive ourselves. We all make mistakes, live with regrets, and hurt others. We fail, grow weary and even undependable at times, but we must accept these weaknesses, strive to overcome them, and move forward.
Forgiveness brings change. By choosing to forgive, we choose life, and set in motion all those lovely things found on a beautiful spring day.
Dr. Schuetz is an ordained minister and has been in ministry with her husband for twenty-five years. She has a PhD in clinical Christian counseling. She and her husband, Michael, of 33 years have 2 sons, 1 daughter, 9 grandchildren.