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 time where no one is really working (apart from everyone in the hospitality industry) and there is the chance to reflect.
I also love it because there is the chance to catch up with family in a way you don’t really have the space for any other time of the year. We had a great picnic together at a park in Launceston (pictured) and it was just nice to be ‘us’.
I find that this week and next week are usually times when I do a lot of thinking. This week I look back over the past 365 days and read my journal from the year.
As I’ve been reading the goals I set myself for this year it’s nice to see what I have done and interesting to see what I haven’t.
I love the promise of a new year, a fresh slate.
Reflecting on the year just gone is a good reminder that as I look at 2012 from this vantage point I have no real idea how it will actually pan out.
2011 was a real roller-coaster of a year, with great high points and profound low points. None of them I forsaw this time last year.
One of the themes of my journal was the quiet and comforting voice of God coming through over and over again with the same message: “Relax Matt, I am with you, I will not let you go. None of this catches me by surprise and none of it thwarts my plan.”
For my 40th birthday my son Daniel gave me a desk plaque with the verse that became a real foundation for my adult life when I discovered it at the age of 20:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3:5)
20 years on and I am still learning the same lesson over and over again.
It’s great to pull back and plan, and I think I have a bit of a general idea of what God is asking of me for the coming 12 months, but more and more I am learning the truth of Proverbs 19:21:
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.