I stood there, at that edge, waiting. The road ahead was long and trailed off into an early morning haze. There didn’t seem to be life anywhere.
And I looked behind me at all I knew, and sighed. I knew I had everything I would need for the journey ahead of me ready to go.
Yet, I still feared the unknown. What if I wasn’t totally prepared? What if I had forgotten something. What if on the way I needed it but didn’t have it? I could die out there.
Yet, when the moment came I knew I was going to take that step forward into that great unknown. There wasn’t any turning back.
So when that school bus came, I got on and started my year as a first grader.
It was horrifying for some of us, exciting for others, but more than likely a mix of both emotions for most; you know, the start of the school year. It was more than leaving mom and dad at home, more than going to school for (many of us) a whole day and learning complex math problems which involved two (or even three) digits.
It was leaving the known behind for the uncharted. That first day of school united all seven year olds with great explorers; everything they could think of needing in the backpack, ready to push off and know there is no turning back.
Ultimately, there were things we didn’t plan for. In those years of school which began that fateful first day of the first grade we never knew what a clique was, or how to deal with it.
We weren’t prepared for
the choice of a kind of milk for after recess
and the list goes on.
No person starts something new fully prepared. No person enters a new career, program of study, or moves into a new town knowing everything there is to know.
We can do our best to prepare, but there will be (a lot of) things we aren’t prepared for. That is the nature of a new beginning – you do the best you can to prepare, and then be humble enough to learn as you go and ask for help when you need it.
Today, you may be on the cusp of beginning something new. Maybe you are planning for it, maybe it is about to happen.
Maybe today is your first day.
You stand united with all the great explorers going to the unknown; but the nature of any beginning is the discovery that takes place on that journey.
The idea that you may die out there, but if you don’t, you may
Something unexpected and unhoped for, earned and glorious. As we embark on those journeys and as I am reminded of the many beginnings in my own life and the many more to come. I think about the glorious feeling of anticipation and anxiety. I think about the great things that new beginnings bring, and the sad reality of necessary endings.
Just like starting school.
Just like starting a new job.
Just like going to college for freshmen year… or back to college to finish your degree.
You think you know, but really, the rest of the work has to be done on the way. So let go of fear, step on the bus, and begin something new. New adventure is waiting.