Reflect on 2016 Before Diving Into 2017

I have always loved a fresh start. The start of a new semester as well as the start of a new year. I am not a formal resolution setter but I am a goal setter. True confession time. I find a new calendar and a new year to be pretty exciting things. Turning that page to the new year gives me a focused opportunity to look back before I move forward. It gives me an opportunity to get out of any of the ruts I am in and create new and better paths.

The looking back part is kind of like writing your annual Christmas letter where you try to sum up your year in one page or less, hitting the highlights, skimming over the bad stuff, and sharing your very best photo. Except to truly look back at the past year with honest eyes we need to look long and hard at the not so good stuff as well. Some of which was our fault and some of which occurred through no fault of our own. The goal is to learn from our mistakes and make different choices in the coming year. To do the same evaluation this time next year and feel like we have made progress in a positive direction.

God created us as mental, physical and spiritual beings and I think we need to look back at all three aspects of our lives this time of year. Whether you are 8 or 88 I hope that you are on a journey to be the very best you - you can possibly be. Or as the wise philosopher, Erma Bombeck put it, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.”

John Ortberg, in his marvelous book, If You want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, says it this way, “As a crucial part of your calling, you were given certain gifts, talents, longings, and desires. To identify these with clarity, to develop them with skill, and to use them joyfully and humbly to serve God and his creation is central to why you were created.”

During Transparent Tuesdays in January I want to reflect on lessons learned in 2016 that will prepare me mentally, physically and spiritually for a better 2017. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Precious Father - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen (Psalm 19:14)