December Chaplain's Reflections
By Chaplain (Maj.) Christina Pittman, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published December 03, 2021
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
“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 43:18-19
In your life, did you ever wish you could go back and start over? I remember a few times when I assembled a piece of furniture and put the wrong side together or used the wrong screw and partially disassembled the unit and started again. Or when I took a wrong turn that increased my travel time because I was rerouted. Or when I typed on the computer and made a mistake, I hit the back arrow in Word. The option to go back to the prior edited page saved me from consumed time for corrected mistakes. When life just happened and there was no “restart” button, I considered creating a new beginning and moved forward.
There are many opportunities in life that offer us occasions to begin again.” In various faiths and moral belief practices, starting anew is an annual occurrence. Faith offers a fresh beginning and reconciliation to start new with no mistakes, much like a “redo.” One popular phrase from the Bible is, God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). In the Christian faith this phrase means whatever transgressions happen the day before, God provides forgiveness and grace each morning and start over as one with no faults. Visually, this verse looks like cleansing of the body and spirit by the old washing away and a new birth of one’s being.
Other religions also have holy days each new year to mark spiritual beginnings. Islam celebrated the new year in August. This day was set aside to reflect on the migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. He made this journey in order to escape oppression and violence. In this tradition, at Medina Mohammad recovered and grew spiritually and regained a new start in life and in faith. September was the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah. The celebrations begun the night before when ceremonial apples were dipped in honey to signify the sweet new beginning to come in the new year. In Mahayana countries, the Buddhist new year, Losar, started on the first full moon day in January. Through these holy days, believers marked a time to reflect and make application that life had a sweet and fresh start in the New Year.
As we go through the holiday season and into a new year, whether it be for your faith or moral belief, lean on your spiritual resiliency. Turn to a trusting compass of the spirit that links you to your beliefs to help guide and guard you as you seek rebirth. Reconcile relationships and start the New Year throwing off the old you and putting on the new. Celebrate life and the opportunity to wake up with a blank slate. Go forth with the belief the old passes away so you can begin anew.
If you desire more information or support on spiritual resiliency, please call the SCANG Chaplain Corps office at 803-647-8265 or email us at 169.FW.169.FW.Chaplains.Org@us.af.mil