By Caitlin Chodakowsky

Turning over a new leaf

As autumn leaves start to turn warm oranges and reds before falling to the ground, it might be time for us to change too

autumn leaves

A French poet once wrote: "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."

Perhaps you are at a point in life where things are changing. Whether you're moving out of home, getting married, welcoming your first child into the world, starting a new job or finding yourself in an empty nest – life changes and so do we.

Perhaps you know deep down that there are things in your life that still need to change, whether it be finally overcoming that addiction, ending a bad habit or working on a character trait.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn made an interesting point when he said: "You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change (your) circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of."

The thing is, changing oneself is easier said than done. Countless New Year resolutions fail because we lack the resolve, wisdom or motivation to follow through.

Finding power to changeAs a volunteer in the prison system, I often see people return to prison shortly after being released because they go back to their old friends, bad influences and harmful way of life.

While it may seem all too hard to change, there is one decision in life that is guaranteed to transform everything. I have seen it time and again.

It is the decision to allow Jesus Christ into your life to guide and direct you as Saviour and Lord.

The Bible explains that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Thousands of people around the world testify to the power Jesus has to change lives for the better, and Challenge newspaper publishes many examples of these.

Like a leaf that dies to make room for new growth, the Bible explains that the Christian life starts when we "die to ourselves" (see Romans 6:12-13), meaning we do not let our selfish desires, thoughts and actions, which offend God, control the way we live.

When we do this we "turn over a new leaf" so to speak, and allow the Spirit of God to work in us to help us live in a way that pleases Him.

If you put your trust and faith in Jesus, the Bible encourages us not to lose heart in life because, "Our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

If you really want to start afresh it is your responsibility to take charge and look into what Jesus has to offer. Life with Him will continue long after we witness our last autumn here on earth.

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