How have you begun your New Year? As ever, I got up far too late. It seems to me that New Year’s Eve, with its parties and staying-up-way-too-late-ness, is rather incompatible with New Year’s resolutions, which would be much better begun on a morning when I’ve been to bed at a reasonable hour.
So I’m glad that this year we have a few days where my resolution making has a little time to bed in before life gets back to normal. Hooray for Saturday New Years.
Our old pals the Teddies came over for dinner and a sleepover last night and Rev Ted and the Vicar very kindly cooked an enormous breakfast for us once we’d all surfaced. So we’ve not felt the need for lunch and I’ve been able to spend a little time instead reflecting on 2010 and praying and thinking through 2011. In this I’ve found Don Whitney‘s questions an enormous help, and there’s still time for you to read and pray through them too before the holidays finish.
There are more questions on Don’s website, but these are the main ones which I have been thinking through:
Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday
Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.
Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.
The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.
1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?
9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?