Saturday, March 4, 2017

Go Back to the Beginning

by Andrew Cromwell

I love the movie The Princess Bride. If you’ve never seen it, it is a comedic take on a fairytale love story set in the time of knights and maidens and kings and queens. Apart from having a great cast including Billy Crystal and Andre the Giant in unforgettable supporting roles, it is full of witty one-liners and clever repartee (how’s that for my word of the day?).

At one point a character in the movie, Inigo Montoya, who is played by Mandy Pantkin, remembers that his friend Vizzini had told him to “go back to the beginning.” For those of you who have seen the movie, I cannot resist quoting the line exactly, for you will surely hear Inigo’s voice and accent: “I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have.”

This moment of revelation leads Inigo to exactly the place he needed to be. He had lost all hope of redemption but his decision to go back to the beginning is the thing that made the difference. Of course, in the way of all fairy tales, things worked together in just the way they are supposed to and Inigo won the victory he so desperately needed.

In case you haven’t noticed, your life is not a fairy tale. Neither is mine. But that doesn’t mean there are no good lessons for us to apply from our favorite fairy tale stories. And this one is no different. Sometimes you just need to go back to the beginning.

I don’t know where you are at in life. But I imagine that there are some areas that you wish you could just hit the restart button. Maybe it’s a relationship that soured or a job gone sideways. Or maybe you have wandered far, far away from God.

I can’t offer you a restart button that will erase all of your past, but I do know that you can go back to the beginning and have a new start. To go back to the beginning means going back to the time and place where you knew the ground was solid, to that time before you got off track. It was the moment where hope was alive in your heart and your vision of the future was bright. The Bible talks about that moment when our hearts were alive with our first love — before we soiled it and spoiled it.

You can go back to that. Or if you feel like you’ve never had that, you can go there for the first time. Most everyone knows that this past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. It signalled the start of the season of Lent. Lent is a six week period when many Christians go back to the beginning. They set their hearts towards Jesus once again. They fast and pray. They rededicate themselves to following Him with their whole heart. They prepare themselves so that they can see His purposes in their lives.

You may never have practiced Lent. You may not be a Christian. But you may know that you need a new start. Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are tired and weary and I will give you rest.” Now, that’s a beginning! 

Wherever you are today, perhaps it is time to go back to the beginning. To get yourself close to Father God. To rededicate yourself to Him and to the things He wants for your life. And if you don’t know where to begin, just start with a conversation with Him. 

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