“As I look towards the beginning of each season, I like think of 3 things:
Where I have come from, Where I am, and Where I’d like to be”
– Coach Jim Valvano (1983 NCAA Basketball Champions)
As we look forward to the next day, week, year or decade it is first vitally important to consider where we’ve come from. No matter what 2014 looked like for you, this will likely uncover some moments of incredible joy, and perhaps even moments of incredible pain, but it is important to look at both as they both existed in the last 52 weeks. We’ve found that, in doing so, we are led to places of incredible thankfulness for the moments of joy, towards growing in inner reconciliation for the moments of pain, and towards a greater understanding for the innumerable moments that have existed everywhere in-between.
CHALLENGE 1: Take a few minutes (or even a few hours) to write down 6 gifts and 6 major negative moments of 2014. (if you can’t think of exactly 6 for either, it’s ok!)
You’re welcome to start with either list or jump around chronologically. As you’re working through each of the bullet points take a moment to remember each scenario, no need to jump to conclusions on what could happen in the future of each situation.
As you finish your lists, go back over the 6 gifts of 2014.
Were any of them a complete surprise?
Are there specific steps you took to make any of these a reality?
What have you learned from these moments?
How are you different because of these moments?
One or more of these moments can serve as an Ebenezer– A pillar of hope for future situations that don’t look as positive. Always remember that hope can become reality any moment, and that there are steps (no matter how small) we can take to bring our dreams closer.
Now look at the 6 negative moments/events of 2014. You’re welcome to spend as much time as necessary on each one. If any of them bring out a lot of regret or shame, try to simply hold the event out in front of you as best as possible.
Are there things to learn from these moments?
What could happen in 2015 to begin a redemptive process (no matter how crazy or far-fetched the idea)?
Is there a visible first-step you can take towards the redemptive process? If so, what is it?
Don’t feel the pressure to jump on a high-speed train towards moving-on from the negative moments; it can take time. But know that it is not only possible, but it is likely in your power to begin the process.
Keep this list as long as necessary, and maybe keep it on a nightstand or desk for the last few days of 2014 to come back to, add to the list or make notes on how 2015 could be the best year’s beginning yet!