OUR CONNECTION MATTERS
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Hal Borland
Recently I have heard people speak of putting 2020 behind us as if the striking of the clock at midnight on December 31 (for those who are able to stay awake to witness this) will somehow flip a switch and everything will be different, new, and better. If only it were that easy!
We recognize our world is weary with all the happenings of 2020. I shared Hal Borland’s quote above to help us think about transitioning into the New Year. Let’s stop to think about what God has been (and is) teaching us individually and collectively. How do we use this knowledge, wisdom, and experience and what do we choose to take into the new year with us to continue to learn and grow? What is best to leave behind?
I don’t know about you, but I find the older I get the more reflective I become. The slowing down, the interruptions and disruptions (some very good ones) - all heightened by the pandemic - have caused me to take pause and dig deeper to see where God is at work, how I can be a part of it, and what He is teaching me through it all. Reflection has been key to this searching.
One technique used for reflection is through “The Examen” originally taught by Ignatius of Loyola. This technique is a meaningful and intentional spiritual practice that one engages in daily to discover God’s presence and discern His direction. The Jesuits would enter into this time twice each day, at noon and in the evening. There are many variations and resources available to guide this time of prayerful reflection. The Upper Room offers a guided resource for this that can be found here.
Reflection can be a look back over any period of time. You could reflect throughout the day, at the end of the day, week, month, season, etc. So what could it look like to reflect on an entire year (especially a year as unique as 2020)? Below is a sample list of questions to reflect upon to end each year with intentionality. The challenge for 2020, in many cases, is to reflect and explore beyond our “pandemic lens.”