Law of Reflection –
Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is a week that I try to pause and reflect. I learned this practice from one of my mentors, John Maxwell. He spends this entire week going over every appointment and every activity that he had that year and evaluates what he wants to keep doing and do even more of, what he wants to do less of, what added value to others, etc.
I don’t spend the entire week, but I do try to spend a day or two reflecting on the past year. I ask myself the questions up above, but really try to focus on what God has taught me during the past year so I can better determine where He wants me to go next year.
Yesterday I spent hours reading through my prayer journal from this year. My prayer journal is something I do on my computer where I write out my prayers and then listen for God’s answer and write down what I hear Him saying to me. It’s something I highly recommend.
It was fascinating as I read through this year’s entries, and I immediately noticed a theme as I took the time to reflect.
Through the good, the bad and the ugly of 2021, God’s consistent message was that He was with me and I could find true peace in Him, no matter what was happening around me.
God also showed me the growth I’ve experienced as I have learned to trust Him at a deeper and deeper level and also learned to surrender situations totally and completely to Him. I never would have seen this growth as clearly as I do now unless I took the time to pause and reflect.
Taking the time to stop and reflect is one of the most valuable and worthwhile activities we can do to grow. I have found this to be especially true in my faith. The moments spent in silence have been when I have heard God’s tender whispers to my heart.
If you’re a born “doer” like I am, being still and reflecting can be a hard thing to do. Keeping busy and on the move seems to be the only path to being productive and successful. When things get rough, just do more!
When things get rough, a better choice would be to simply stop and ask ourselves some tough questions about our current situation. Give ourselves the opportunity to reflect, and then allow God time to give us the answers we’re looking for. We can’t rush it.
Maybe this visual will help you out a bit. Think about your reflection in the water. If the water is rough or moving, you can’t see yourself very clearly, if at all.
However, if the water is still, smooth like glass, you can see yourself with clarity.
For me, that’s what taking the time to be still and reflect has been like. When I slow down, it is truly an opportunity for growth to catch up with me.
Time spent in reflection is invaluable. It has allowed me to see how God has moved in my life, and also how He has used hard things for my good. It has enabled me to see the areas where I have grown, which encourages me to keep going.
John Maxwell has another saying that I love, “Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is!” So true. If we don’t take the time to reflect on what’s happened, life can become simply a series of ups and downs that seem to have no purpose or meaning. Reflecting and digging for the lessons we can learn from those experiences, good or bad, is how we really grow. Reflection turns experiences into insights.
This weekend is the start of a brand new year. It feels like we all get a “clean slate.”
I encourage you, before you enter the new year, take a minute and reflect on this past year. Let God show you where you’ve grown, where He's shown up for you, where He's leading you right now, and invite Him into the process as you set goals for next year.
Reflecting will give yourself time to let your growth catch up with you!
Blessings and peace to you in the New Year!
Hugs and love,