January was named after the mythical Roman god Janus who supposedly had two faces, one facing forward and the other facing backward. It was said that this allowed him to look both to the future and back into the past.
This is very much what we do at this time every year. Looking back gives us a sense of who we are and provides a foundation, or stimulus, for where we want to go in our lives. In most years this reflection is very personal and involves looking at things that happened to us and how we responded. Often this is a very negative process and we look at what we now perceive as mistakes or bad luck.
As you reflect on 2016, I encourage you to change way of looking back and instead of critiquing things find the good. Instead of chastising yourself wishing you had done something differently, work to remember what you did right. What happened to you that showed God’s presence in your life. Where was He leading, guiding, protecting, motivating, blessing you? Sometimes looking back we can better see how things that didn’t seem like much at the time, or maybe even seemed difficult, now show that God was at work making good things happen.
I suspect that remembering the good will help create an expectation of good for the future.
God’s Guidance On My Journey Of Life
Wherever I may be, or whatever I may be doing, each and every day I am on a journey. A journey that will be filled excitement, sadness, joy, frustration, occasionally anger, sometimes fear, health, illness and always great hope and peace that can only come from knowing that God will guide my journey and be my support and strength in all that it holds.
Of course, I need to remember to invite him in and to take the time to listen. As life moves at its frantic pace it’s a real challenge to slow down enough to listen for his guidance. All too often I start the day with a quick prayer which is usually my asking for something, and on a good day, I might remember to thank him for all the goodness he has created in my life. Then I get on with the many tasks of the day rarely taking the time to just sit quietly and listen for him.
Even when I do take the time to listen, I may not feel his presence and then I get anxious or to be honest, bored, and simply move on to the things that need doing.
So what’s the answer to receiving God’s guidance? I don’t have one for everyone as we are each on our own unique journey, but I do know that when I discipline myself to take the time for prayer and to offer thanksgiving, share my worries, ask for help or direction, and just to be quiet trusting in his presence with me, I approach my day with greater peace and confidence.
This discipline includes seeing prayer as a “must” part of my daily life. Just as I “must” do things before I leave my home, I “must’ have this time with God. I like to start my day with moments of peace and prayer but others find ending their day in that way works better for them. Others might schedule it in just like other very important activities. When and where really don’t matter. Making our relationship with our God a priority does matter.
May God bless your coming year with health, peace, love and joy.