We seem to be a future-driven society. I’ve talked about this before in past posts. From a young age we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. In jr. high we start taking personality tests that lead to career results. In high school all the focus seems to be on college, degrees and careers. Future, future, future.
Planning for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we lose a lot when we are only focused on the future.
BUT, I’m not writing today to talk about how we need to be focused on the present. I’m writing to take a step back, look on the past and see how far we’ve come.
Think back to this time last year. Think of how much you have grown, learned and changed in just the past year. Pull out an old journal if necessary, and read about what problems surrounded you a year ago. Walk through all of your familiar places, and find the differences in your world today.
Although I think dwelling in the past can sometimes be discouraging, I do think that reflection is valuable.
There is something to be said about progress.
A year ago, I had only been back from my three months in Honduras for a couple weeks and was still in a foggy, reverse-culture-shock state. I’m pretty sure it was around this time that I went to the grocery store to buy orange juice and was completely overwhelmed by the wall of options, as opposed to the big or small sizes available in Honduras, that I left the store without buying anything.
I hadn’t started with youth ministry yet, and now it is the highlight of my week. There is no other form of ministry that I would rather be doing right now.
I’ve learned so much academically and in my spiritual walk that it makes me giddy!
God is so good!
So, take a moment to step back, reflect on the past year and think about how far you have come. Think about all the positive changes that have happened to you or that you have made. Think about your growth in Christ. Think about the sour or unhealthy relationships that you walked through and away from.
It is far too easy to only look back and see all of the trials, and miss all the triumphs. God is more than the valleys, He is the victory on the mountaintops.
If you look back and you’re disappointed, then this is just as valuable for you. Look back and see the things you missed, the problems you wished were different. And do something about it. Reflection is only valuable when we use it for improvement and growth.
It won’t all be good, because we are broken people living in a broken world, but pray that God would reveal to you the progress you have made!
Look back, reflect and move forward!
Have a blessed day,