I love this time of year.
I love it for two reasons, the first is that it’s not a normal time, it’s kind of a twilight zone, an in-between time where one year is really over and another hasn’t properly started. In a moment like this there is the opportunity to spend some time reflecting.
The other reason I love this time of year is the chance to sit down in front of the cricket (I know its not a very Canadian thing) or over a jigsaw puzzle or board game with family in a very relaxed kind of way that doesn’t seem to happen in the frenetic pace that most of us seem to sustain.
Since Christmas I’ve reading back over my journal from 2016 and reflecting on all that has happened over the past 12 months.
At the start of the year I set myself some goals.
I think goals are a very good thing. Without goals it is easy to get thrown around by life and never really getting anywhere. It is encouraging to see that some of the goals I set myself on January 1, 2016 are now memories and there is significant progress on others.
I have to acknowledge though that there are a number of things I said I wanted to do that I haven’t done, and there are lots of other things that I couldn’t have even imagined in January that I am now grateful to have experienced.
Increasingly I am coming to a point where I can relax and trust that God knows what he is doing, even when things don’t make sense.
I have a plaque on my desk which helps me get perspective on a regular basis. The plaque features two verses from the book of Proverbs chapter three: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
As I look back on the past year I see God’s hand at work, guiding me, challenging me, encouraging me and ultimately, carrying me. I also see that some of my plans that didn’t eventuate were because of His work in my life.
Tomorrow, after church, I will set some goals for 2017, however I am grateful for the truth of Proverbs 19:21 which says: “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
God’s plan will not always fit your agenda, and it won’t always be comfortable. However as you learn to let go and to trust, you will find that somehow a pattern will emerge that is only explicable through God’s supernatural care and work in your life.
As we all begin another journey around the sun, I wonder whether 2017 might be a good time to discover in a new way that God actually does have a plan for your life?