“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
God’s work did not end with his creation. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” (John 5:17) God never stops creating. He is constantly doing new things. Through his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, he loves, forgives, teaches, heals and guides. He also invites us to join with him in taking care of his creation. In all of this he is always looking forward, not backward.
While our sin can interfere with God’s creation and work, God provides a remedy through repentance and forgiveness. Once we acknowledge our sin and seek to change, God offers forgiveness. While it is natural to regret our past sin and mistakes, once we acknowledge them and are forgiven, it is time for us to move on and seek to live the life that God is calling us to live today.
For me, that includes loving and caring for my wife of 58 years, supporting an adult child with special needs, and being available to love and encourage four other adult children who are raising families of their own. It includes being a good steward of the time, talents and resources God has made available to me to serve him in family, work and ministry.
As an example, God has opened the door for me to work with a charitable organization that raises funds and supports special education and inclusion in Catholic schools. This past year we have taken steps to hire professional staff and expand our board to bring more expertise and resources to our mission. At one point our diocese had no schools that served students with special needs. Today, students with special needs are being served in all four diocesan high schools, and ten parish schools. The objective of our organization and our Bishop is that every Catholic school in the diocese will be able to offer a loving, nurturing and inclusive education for students with special needs.
God is doing a new thing in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, and I am blessed to be a part of it. He is always seeking to do something new to further his kingdom on this earth. So too with us, he is always seeking to do something new – providing new opportunities for us to love, forgive, teach, heal, guide – always looking forward, advancing his creation “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Do you hold on to the past, or are you opening your eyes to the new opportunities God is putting before you?