Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's - Push the Pause Button

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Ferris Bueller

Happy New Year!

Today and tomorrow is a wonderful time to meditate and reflect on life. 2011 has brought blessing, struggle, disappointment and joy.

That's life isn't it?

There's something important about remembering. Did you experience great victories in 2011? Where did you see the hand of God clearly in your life? Were there times of great struggle and failure?

For me, the answer is a resounding YES!

Today or tomorrow take some significant time to push the pause button and reflect. Here are some ideas.

1. Look through your calendar or journal

There's no way I can remember last week much less the 3rd week of January. If you journal this is a great wonderful time to skim through your thoughts from last year. Your calendar is another way to stop and remember. Whatever you use, work though 2011 slowly and think about how you spent your time and energy.

As you look over last year some events will jump out at you. As these special events jump off the page, slow down and reflect.

2. Stop and give thanks

After taking a stroll down memory lane stop and thank God for all the blessings. Remember, some times blessings don't seem that way when you're going through life. Sometimes looking back can bring difficult circumstance in to focus. "In all things give thanks."

3. Embrace your failure

As you honestly reflect there will be times of regret. Be honest with yourself.

I plan to own up to my struggle and failure, once again tell God I'm sorry and ask for his grace and power to grow in 2012. You may need to pick up the phone and call someone you've wronged. Whatever the case, use this as an opportunity to apply God's grace to your life not to sit in shame.

4. Jot down 3-5 hopes for 2012

Ok, this is a little different than New Year resolutions. Where do you hope to see the hand of God in your life and your loved ones next year?

Some of these hopes may be simple like, "I hope to spend more meaningful time with my wife". Or they may be "bhag" hopes. (big, audacious, hairy goals). Wherever God takes your thoughts and imagination make sure you're depending on the power of the gospel not your effort.

5. Share your hopes

We need prayer. Hopefully you have some people close to you who will share in your desires for 2012. If not, maybe that could be one of your "hopes"? Find a couple people to share what you're praying for in 2012.

Life happens at the speed of sound. Let's use this holiday as an excuse to stop, reflect and connect with a God who has been and will be gracious.

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