By T.J. Cheux

What sparks your energy when you start something? Whether school, athletics, sports, music, film, relationships or your career, when you think about the start, is there another author or someone else creating or working alongside you in the beginning?

This is about ownership. Who does it begin with? What does begin even mean?

From here, we start to reflect upon the Creation story and Genesis. The beginning of the world can be attributed to the concept of time and also time with God. God perceives the world as past, present and future.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2 NLT)

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We must understand the beginning to allow ourselves to experience the middle and permit the end to happen.”

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Communicating the Beginning

Beginning is the spark, the flame, the switch, or even the turning of the tap. The concept of ownership to beginning is not a strange concept to scientists, doctors, nurses, screen producers, mothers or music directors. The start sets the tone. It creates the scene and builds the atmosphere for the story about to be told.

How we communicate our beginning — or how we portray our beginning — can be the end in some scenarios. How we communicate the beginning matters.

How Jesus is attributed to be the beginning in 1 John matches Genesis 1. He is attributed to being present at the very beginning.

“We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.” (1 John 1:1–2 NLT)

The difference between a good salesperson, storyteller, musician, public speaker or radio presenter is based upon their ability to successfully communicate the message. From sender to receiver, we often overanalyze the message, the medium and the modality while forgetting the origins. We must understand the beginning to allow ourselves to experience the middle and permit the end to happen.

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“If we allow just about anybody to determine our beginning, we can be hurt, mishandled and even dismissed from creating our own story.

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Who Is Writing and Helping?

Whether it is watching the first 10 seconds of a trailer or the first 10 minutes of a TV series, or digesting the news headlines as we scroll our news feeds, we determine who deserves a shot at creating a new beginning in our life. If we allow just about anybody to determine our beginning, we can be hurt, mishandled and even dismissed from creating our own story.

Let us today seek to check on our own beginning, our own story and who is writing our beginning. If we allow ourselves to just drift in this world, we will truly be misled, misunderstood and misrepresented in our already chaotic, confusing and overcrowded world where everybody seeks a new beginning.

Choose your beginning, but make sure you are the one who writes it and who designs it.

Where does our help come from when we seek ownership over our beginning? Do we attribute it to God or to ourselves?

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” (Psalm 1:1–2 NLT)

Jesus was attributed to being present in 1 John and 1 Genesis, yet He was also attributed to being around those who were perceived to be wicked as tax collectors, as sinners and as the less-than-original creators of peace. In fact, many times we see Christ greeting the disciples where they are without peace, and then Christ’s appearance is lost.

The first appearance of Jesus at the beginning of His resurrected self is met with doubt, fears and the disciples hiding. The beginning is not always easy. The beginning is not always explained.

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“We are not to live in a spirit of fear, cowardice or doubt.

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In (Not of) the World

It is imperative that we understand that God in Christ Jesus our Lord has overcome the world. So much so that we can be bold, strong and courageous in the world.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)

Even though we are not of the world, we are called to live in the world, but not be of the world. We are not to live in a spirit of fear, cowardice or doubt. We are instead to live with confidence of love, power and self-discipline in following Jesus, the Author of the beginning.

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T.J. Cheux — a conference ministerial candidate in the Southeast Region Conference — resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, and pastors a quaint country church just outside metro Charlotte. He is the founder of Free and Fit that serves athletes with coaching and spiritual formation. He was called to spiritual ministry after beginning his career in inner-city London as a teacher. His experiences working with poor and marginalized communities, as well as affluent ones, activated his deep empathy for all kinds of struggles we face as humans in our modern culture. Answering the call to ministry, he has served as a youth pastor, ecumenical missionary, college campus pastor, high school chaplain, and more. He has a Master of Divinity degree from General Theological Seminary in New York City and a Master of Education degree from the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has certification in chaplaincy, coaching, spiritual direction and mental health first aid.

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