Lovely to catch up with you over Christmas! I hope you enjoyed the New Year Festivities?!
As the New Year gets underway it is a good time to reflect back on the past year and to look forward in anticipation at what the year ahead holds for you. The writer to the Hebrews talks about running with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1) so I thought I would take the word RACE and look at it letter by letter:
- R for Review and Reflect
- A for Assess and Action
- C for Change and Continue
- E for Expect and Enjoyment
As a family we developed the habit of taking time at the beginning of each year to review and reflect on the previous year. We would sit down together and spend some time quietly thinking back over the year and then each of us would share the top three highlights, that we had enjoyed over the past year. When we had all shared in this way, we would then spend time thanking God for these times/events.
Next we would reflect back again on the year and identify the three most sad/upsetting times/events. We would share these and then pray for each other about them.
Then we would think about the year ahead quietly together before sharing with each other our expectations, hopes and dreams for the year ahead. We then prayed for each other about these.
Finally we would spend some time in silence listening to God to see what he would say to us about the year ahead! We would share these words/pictures/impressions with each other before closing our time of reflection together with prayer and thanksgiving.
So I would like to invite you, to set some time aside and review and reflect on the past year. Begin by remembering the past year, you may like to ‘rewind’ and think back month by month until you reach last January or you may like to begin with January and go forwards!! You choose!
- Think about the ups and downs and ins and outs!
- What was hard? What did you find challenging
- What did you enjoy? What experiences/activities were life giving for you?
- What did you learn, about God? / yourself? / others?
You may like to listen to the short meditation Pillars to help your reflections, instead of the points above. Either way, record your thoughts and reflections in your Journal!
However, God does not want us to live in the past. Looking back at His goodness should root us firmly in the rich soil of faith, from there we can grow, with Him into new things. Paul writes this to the Philippians (3.13):
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”
So, as the New Year begins, resolve to press on and to keep running the race marked out for you!