I love taking some extended time with God, especially at the start of a new year. I don’t always make the time to do that, but whenever I do, I am always glad. A new year is a perfect time to reflect on the past and talk with God about the future—to invite God to “teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). It is a time to talk to Him about what He is doing so we can get on board with it. It is a time to lay our desires before Him so He can guide our prayers concerning them. It is a time to thank Him for His blessings. And to give Him an opportunity to do any mid-course adjustments He wants to do in our lives.
There are all sorts of ways to structure such a time—and no right or wrong way to do it. But here’s how I will be doing it this year. Camilla Seabolt, the Executive Director of Community Bible Study (where I work) has shared a helpful tool to guide a time of relaxed conversation with God about these things. She calls it “My Spiritual Focus for the New Year.” It’s available on the Community Bible Study website (www.communitybiblestudy.org). Scroll to the bottom of the page, find the Director’s Message, and go to the bottom of that column where you will find “2013 Spiritual Focus.” Click on that and you’ll find a PDF you can print and use.
If you decide to use Camilla’s tool—or whatever tool or means you choose to use—make sure to make the time with God a conversation with Him and not just about Him. For me, at least, it’s too easy to be introspective without necessarily being prayerful. But it’s God’s perspectives I need, not my own. I want to lean on His understanding, not mine. He’s far better at searching my heart than I am!
We still have a few days before the new year begins. If you have done something similar to what I share here, or if you have a different way of engaging with God at the beginning of a new year, I’d love to hear about it. Your story could encourage or inspire others, so please pass it on.