As this year draws to a close and a new year approaches, I find myself with the desire to take stock, do an inventory of sorts. As knitting plays such a big part in my life, this is where I feel it first. I get the urge to take stock of what projects I started and have yet to finish, what yarns I have at hand. I think about which of those projects I still want to complete, which I no longer like or want to finish. I set goals for the unfinished projects and decide what to do with the others. Will I take them out and reuse the yarn for something else, or do I no longer care for the yarn, and will I give it away to someone else who will use it?
In our spiritual lives we can do the same thing. Take a look back at this year. Ask yourself: What happened in my life this year? How did I handle things that happened? What areas did I do well in? Where have I grown? What things do I regret? What areas could I stand to improve? Have I invited God into my life on a regular basis?
In my own life, I try to remember to start each day by thanking God for another beautiful day. I believe this simple act of thanks and an acknowledgement of God’s grace in my life can start each day on a good foot. The other part of my daily ritual is to ask for God’s guidance and help throughout the coming day.
I am reminded of Pastor Charlie’s sermon on Christmas Eve: “Go, Tell.” How can I live out and share my faith in God’s presence in my daily life? How have I done this in the past year? How can I improve on it in this coming year?
Taking stock is not meant to be a list of the negatives about yourself. It’s meant to be a simple inventory, as if you were a shop owner looking at your shelves. It can be freeing to let go of what is no longer working for you, whether in the physical or the spiritual sense.
As a church, this is also a good time to think about this past year, as we move into the new. Soon we will gather for our Annual Meeting. In leading up to this, each committee will be looking back at this past year and looking ahead to the new. What things worked this past year? What would we like to improve? What new things would we like to try?
Let’s step into this new year both personally and as a church, with trust in God’s guidance, and share, by the power of our example, how God is at work in our own lives and the life of our church.