I always get a little laugh when people say, “I can’t believe January is almost here!” Yep, here it is, the month after December. There is something about January that just sneaks up on many of us. We plan on December coming after November, but January seems so different. Of course it is different – it is the end of the year! Here is to hoping that January didn’t catch you off guard, and that you are ready (or mostly ready) for 2017!
It is the end of the year. And this is a good time to reflect. We need times to reflect, to slow down, to look back, to evaluate and celebrate. The end of December is a great time for this. At the end of December I am usually in my hometown, Simi Valley. I take some time every year to look back on my last year. I grab my calendar and look at the highlights and challenges of the year. This is, for me, a time of prayer – I get to spend this time with God and try to see the big things He is trying to do in me. I hope you can find some time to do a December reflection; it has made a difference in my life.
A lot of people are not fans of making New Year’s resolutions. Why make a promise that will be broken in a month? I still make goals because it helps me to have targets to aim at. During my December reflection, though, I am focused less on my goals – which are measurable – and more on my character formation – which is less measurable. In December I am not just looking back at the events of the year, but how God has shaped me through those events. I am seeing how I am doing as a husband, father, and friend – did I live well in these key relationships? I am also looking at my choices and how they helped me get closer or further from Christ. This is the highest ambition of my existence: to be close, united, with my Savior King.
So here is the farewell to 2016. And here is a prayer for 2017 – that God’s people will pursue Him and get closer to Him no matter how great or terrible the year is. Our Savior leads; follow on.