Spring is my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of fresh flowers, the warmth of the sun greeting each new day, and the joy of new beginnings found in nature all around me. In the spring, I feel as if I can do almost anything. It is a time to forget the past, leave winter behind, and look forward to the future with renewed energy.
Today becomes the by-word. Yesterday is gone, and I cannot change it. Tomorrow is only a dream, not even a promise, but today, today is mine. Today I can start the diet, write a letter, send a postcard to a friend, or take my granddaughter to lunch. Today I can put into motion all those marvelous ‘what-ifs’ niggling in the outer edges of my mind. Today I start again.
Spring is a time for forgiveness and change. Beginning again implies we failed the first time and maybe a second, third, or more. But, in the spring, we forget all that and look forward to a renewed hope. The possibilities are endless.
To harness all the power of this season requires a deep resolution on my part. I must be willing to put the past behind me, forgive myself and anyone else involved in my failures, and look forward. Doing this is not always easy for our frail human nature. Jesus is the ultimate example of forgiveness. He forgave me, and he has forgiven millions of others for horrible deeds.
If Jesus can withstand the indignity of the cross and continue to love us, why do we have such a hard time forgiving ourselves and each other?
Un-forgiveness is the acid that eats our hopes away. How can we expect to move forward if we are chained to the past by hatred and un-forgiveness? People that master the art of forgiving can have a positive impact anywhere. Those who harbor grudges, refusing to see the other person’s perspective, live in anger, hate, and resentment that will, by its very nature, destroy them.
Learning to live a life of mercy isn’t easy. It brings pain and struggle. People hurt us both intentionally and unintentionally. We must remember that they and only they will account to God for their actions. We will account for our own. When we trust God to keep score, our minds are free to do other things. We can concentrate on the essential things in life with fewer lines and wrinkles.
While learning the art of forgiving others, we must remember to forgive ourselves. We all make mistakes, live with regrets, and hurt others. We fail, grow weary, and are undependable at times, but we must accept these weaknesses, strive to overcome them, and move forward.
Forgiveness brings change. By choosing to forgive, we choose life and set in motion all those lovely things found on a beautiful spring day.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz has served as a copastor of the Sebastopol Community Church since February 2018. She and her late husband, Michael, have served as pastors in seven churches since 1988, most of them in the Pentecostal Church of God, Joplin, MO.
The Schuetz family has ministered to couples through counseling, ministry, women, and marriage retreats. She served as the District Youth President over the state of New Mexico, where she traveled two weeks each month preaching youth rallies. She organized youth camps, retreats, etc., during her tenure.
Dr. Schuetz graduated from Cornerstone University, Lake Charles, LA. After completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling in 1998, Cornerstone hired Dr. Schuetz as the university's Administrative Director. In 1998, the Schuetzs moved to Lake Charles, where they lived on campus, taught classes, traveled to satellite campuses to hold graduation ceremonies, etc.
They were married for 45 ½ years, with three children and ten grandchildren. Dr. Schuetz stepped into the pulpit as Senior Pastor when Michael went home to the Lord in December 2021. In over 35 years in ministry, they hoped to reveal God's love to all. Dr. Schuetz loves to break God's Word into understandable principles and teach people how to apply those principles to their own lives.