Advent: Lighting the Fourth Candle - Our Waiting is Over!
Planning for the New Year (Pt.3)

Planning for the New Year (Pt.2)

NYTo begin our life planning process, we’ll make use of a reflection exercise. Reflection is all about pulling aside from the busyness of our life in order to contemplate and think about a specific thing. It is related to the concept of meditation, a common biblical practice which simply means to chew something over and over in your mind.

Set aside 20-30 minutes some time today and reflect on the following questions. This is not a test. These questions are merely to stimulate your thinking. Allow your mind to wander a bit. You might want to jot some of your thoughts down on a piece of paper or in a notebook.

  • What ‘good news’ can you celebrate from this year? Make a list.
  • What was the highlight of this year for you? What brought you the most joy? Why? What did you learn from this?
  • What was the lowlight of this year for you? What caused you the most pain? Why? What did you learn from this?
  • What excites you most about next year? What are you looking forward to? Why?
  • What are you worried about most when you think about next year? What are you afraid of? Why?
  • What needs to change next year? What do you want to do differently? Make a list.
  • What is causing you the most stress right now? Why?
  • What relationships are the most important to you? How are they going right now?
  • What challenges will you face in the near year? Make a list. How do you feel about each one of them?
  • If you knew you had just one year to live, what would you focus on? What would be different?

These are all ‘big picture’ questions that get you focused less on day-to-day activities and more on what is happening in your overall life and where you are heading. Keep the notes you’ve taken. We’ll look back at them over the next few days. Talk to you soon.

 "I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways." [Ps 119:15. NLT]

"Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful miracles." [Ps 119:27. NLT]

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." [Ps 139:23-24. NLT]

"I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works. I think about what you have done." [Ps 143:5. NLT]

"I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles." [Ps 145:5. NLT]

"Let us test and examine our ways." [Lam 3:40. NLT]

Part 3