Yes, I agree with your observation that taking time to reflect back can bring clarity to where we are. It can also remind us of events that have shaped us, though we did not realise it at the time!
We can just reflect back and record our observations/insights and then move on, before getting submerged again in the busyness of life. Or we can take the opportunity to use these insights to bring more balance to our lives.
I would encourage you to take the opportunity to assess where you are at the beginning of this new year. Consider your:
- Age and stage of life
- Your roles and responsibilities
- Your hopes and fears
- Are you ready and willing to travel into the year ahead
- Are you feeling weighed down by events/responsibilities/ burdens…
As we journey through life, we tend to acquire baggage that we carry around with us, that weighs us down. Max Lucado, in his book Travelling Light, suggests that the bags we carry are not made of leather or canvas, instead they are made of burdens.
The luggage of life contains, the following burdens – self-reliance, worry, discontent, weariness, fear, guilt, and doubt, to name but a few of those he identifies and discusses in his book.
Carrying luggage is exhausting,as we have each discovered from our travels! So I would like to suggest that you think about the luggage of life that you might be carrying around with you at the moment, and take time to relinquish these burdens to the Lord, so that you may be released from them and free to enter into all the new year holds for you.
You might find listening to one of the short meditations (for example, Twigs, Pigeons, or Feathers) a useful way to do this!
When you have let go of unwanted luggage, you will be able to travel more lightly over the terrain of the year ahead. It is also useful to consider the routes you are taking and whether you need to take any action to facilitate the journey.
As you well know, change is part of life and it is here to stay! We can either resist it or embrace it – it is not easy to avoid it! Assessing where we are in terms of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, may lead us to take action which will result in a better life/work balance. To achieve this we may well have to make adjustments and changes and alter our priorities. In this way we are better prepared and equipped to continue the journey through the year.
Personally I really like the concept of the season, that there is a time/season for everything under the sun and we do not have to do everything all of the time! There is a time to pick things up and equally a time to put things down, so that we may embrace new opportunities and activities.
I suspect at this you point, you may well be asking, “How do we know it is time to put something down/pick something up? This is where discernment comes in! We develop discernment, as we grow in our faith and begin to distinguish ‘the still small voice’ of the Lord speaking to us above the clamour of all the other voices that may be vying for our attention.
I have often found that when my excitement/enthusiasm for a role/responsibility begins to wane (having done it for reasonable length of time!), I begin to wonder if it is time for change and pray about it. Offering this to God and waiting for his guidance, enables me to continue with the role/responsibility until I am clear about the action I need to take.
So Travel Light and keep running the Race marked out for you!