“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
Life is full of beginnings: a baby is born, a couple marries, a loved one passes away. We are continually beginning anew, perpetually experiencing the cycle of life. These new beginnings are often times of exuberant joy, but can also be periods of intense pain. After a death, how can you move on? After a financial crash, how do you recover?
Beginnings are crucial. This was highlighted to us during the birth of our daughter, Allison. While in labor the hospital staff attached an apparatus to my wife’s stomach that monitored the baby’s heart rate. But all was not well. Allison’s heartbeat was abnormal, constantly dropping to dangerously low levels. At each critical moment my wife had to breathe through an oxygen mask to stabilize the unborn baby’s heart rate. Allison’s heart rate raced, but then swiftly plummeted. Finally her head emerged and the problem was discovered: the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around her neck. Without any urgency the assistant midwife ambled across the room to grab the scissors; she had become too familiar with the birthing process. Life and death hung in the balance, but all she could think about was her long shift. Fortunately, the cord was cut in the nick of time and Allison was free to take her first breath. Her life was saved, but it could have been lost if nothing was done in those first critical moments.
Everything rises or falls on our beginnings. If you begin right, you lay a solid foundation for the future. But if you start haphazardly it is like building on sand—one day your work will come crashing down. In a game of chess, the opening often determines the outcome. A weak opening will almost surely mean defeat, but a strong opening paves the way for victory.
Prayer: God, help me to see the importance of every beginning and begin rightly. I’m asking you to build a firm foundation in my life, a foundation that will last through every storm and enable me to walk in your victory.