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Spiritual life: It's never too late to make a fresh start

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 August 2018

Elwin Cockett

As A-level results are digested, and GCSE grades arrive, there's no better time for ALL of us to realise that it's never too late to make a fresh start in life.

Right now, across the country, young people are making big decisions about their future. For most, whatever they choose to do, it will be a chance to put the past behind them and to grasp new, exciting opportunities. They might well need help and encouragement as they make the step up from one level to another, but for many this will be an exciting time of hope and new horizons.

For others, the opposite might be true. It’s easy to feel that your life is stuck in a rut, and that September will see you doing exactly the same things that you have been doing for years. The good news is that it does not have to be like that.

With Autumn coming, it’s a great time to take stock of your life, to think about what you might do to improve it and what you might want to cut out. That might be something as simple as giving up smoking or taking more exercise. Or it might be something really significant like deciding to volunteer for some kind of service in the community, or re-engaging with your faith.

Of course, some people feel that they are truly stuck and beyond redemption. I’m reminded of John Newton, the captain of a slave ship, who became deeply ashamed of his part in the slave trade. Thankfully, that wasn’t the end of his story, as he told in the famous hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’. He had felt completely lost and hopeless but, he said, God set him free and gave him a chance for a new life, full of grace and love.

Whether you’re already looking forward to the Autumn or, instead, you feel stuck where you don’t want to be, my prayer for you would be that you might be able to make a new start in life, full of faith and hope and love, through the same grace that John Newton wrote about.

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