Sometimes we fantasize about what we would do if we could simply start all over again. We’d make better choices. We’d marry or we wouldn’t. We’d work in big corporations or we’d be the competition. Our imaginations go wild when we think about what we could do with a blank slate.
A blank slate is intriguing, much like facing a blank page if you’re a writer. You have to imagine somewhere inside you what that page might become, how it might offer something new, who might benefit from seeing it. A blank slate brings the challenge of creating something new, something that wasn’t part of the mix of things before.
For me, a clean slate is actually a better proposition though. A clean slate is what we are offered every morning when we rise from our reverie. God said He would make us new every morning, and in His Son we have a clean slate, a chance to start again whenever we want. We’re not left with just an empty page, or a whitewashed board. We have a space to start anew any time we choose. I like the idea of a clean slate because I know that something was on that slate before and it was gently washed away. It was erased so I can try again based on the information I have now. It’s letting go of yesterday in a way that brings forgiveness to those that injured me or where I may have frustrated someone else. It’s giving room for growth and new perspective. It’s a spreadsheet of possibility because the God of the Universe has infinite ways for each of us to become more with each breath, to take our slate and and try again.
We find comfort in knowing that some things have already been tried and learned and that some things are best left behind. The clean slate looks with love at everyone and everything because it has enough information to realize that each person is a student in the world, each one is learning something new, needing direction and advice, and a bigger light to see just where to turn. God’s students are never finished learning, no matter what their age or status.
It’s a new day and we have the experience of life to recognize those things that make a difference, like kindness and generosity, sympathy and compassion. Because we have the fruit of the spirit within us we can start the day with renewed energy, gentle spirits, fervent hopes and a willingness to give ourselves and others a break. A clean slate every morning means we’re not stuck on yesterday, we’re not left simply to deal with our bad habits and to put up with those of others. A clean slate says that if we choose, we can write a whole new story today, paint a very different picture, make the world a better place, at least from where we stand.
Okay, we have all we need then. The forgiveness from the One who loves us and provides a new morning, the wisdom to let go of yesterday, and the gift of becoming something new and better today. How blessed we are! Okay, chalk in hand, new opportunity, let’s create the day!