Saturday, December 31, 2011



This is the time of year when the mass media publish their retrospectives of the events of the past year. It's a natural tendency, I suppose, to want to look back and get some perspective on the many things that happened in the past twelve months. I usually spend the evening of December 31 engaging in my own little "year-in-review."

A friend recently suggested, however, that on New Year’s Eve instead of looking over my shoulder and reflecting on 2011 I might more profitably reflect instead on what lies ahead for me in 2012.
That approach makes a lot of sense -- primarily because it’s much more challenging. I’m good at seeing patterns in past events. It would be a comforting exercise then, to look back in my prayer journal and organize the main events of 2011into coherent strands that I could then weave together into a comfortable spiritual blanket.
The attempt to look into the near future, however, is anything but comforting. At this moment 2012 just a series of questions with no answers, a bundle of possibilities over which I have at best only uncertain control.
Some of the harder questions are not about what will happen to me but rather what choices will I make:

"Will I be able to respond generously to some event even when that means giving up my own plans or my own comfort?"

"Will my response to some frightening experience in 2012 be to draw closer to God or to run farther away?"

I’d rather think about the more positive questions such as

“What will turn out to be the most life-giving experience of 2012?”

“In what ways will I wind up growing in my faith or becoming a more trusting child of God?”

"What people will God use to help me to love Him better?”

“What people will be touched in a special way by me in 2012?”

I pray that questions like these , especially the last few, will sharpen my vision and help me to recognize opportunities for growth when they present themselves during the New Year.
Yes, it seems that this approach of looking ahead into the unknown has some definite advantages! Tonight maybe I’ll reflect on these questions instead of going back into the comfortingly familiar territory of the past twelve months.
May the Lord bless you with a peace-filled 2012!

No comments:

Post a Comment