“The holidays are a time of reflection, and I think it becomes really clear in people’s minds around this time of year what they want to get out of life, who they want to spend their life with, and what kind of person they want to be.”― Chris Sullivan – Actor
The holidays are indeed a time of REFLECTION. This word has a lot of meanings—the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound, without absorbing it; an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface; a thing that is a consequence or arises from something else; or a thing that brings discredit to someone or something. For our end-of-year purposes…REFLECTION is serious thought or consideration; an idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed.
Many people attempt to start off the year by making resolutions—firm decisions to do or not to do something. A 2018 New York Post article cited a study from the University of Scranton said that only 8% achieve these goals. I wonder if that’s because we jump toward new goals without any serious thought about what caused us to need to resolve something in the first place. It’s like trying to put on makeup or trim one’s beard without looking in a mirror. It’s hard to take care of blemishes or make enhancements when you can’t see what needs fixing.
Psalm 90:12 records the prayer of Moses, “Teach us to number our days (the brevity of life) that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Spiritual wisdom is the application of what we know and understand from Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and the lessons of life. James 1:22-25 reminds us, “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” Too many of us are afraid to take hard looks in God’s mirror, but Paul told the church at Corinth, “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine…,” (2 Cor. 13:5a) Self-examination is an integral part of Christ-following. The close of the year, birthdays, anniversaries, conflicts, trials, achievements, and celebrations are all good times for reflection. We have three more days of 2021 to invest in prayer, writing in our journals, looking again at vision boards and prophecies. There’s even still time to have that necessary conversation because…if we do not reflect, it’s hard to know what we need to correct.