Your Year in Review

Your Year in Review

If your year in review played like a movie, what would you see as you played it? Would you want someone sitting with you while you watched it? I imagine myself alone watching my review, with a remote control in hand. I’d like to see it through at least once before I began the editing process. Oh, I’m sure I’d edit out a lot if you were going to watch it with me! I’d fast forward to those moments of great joy: receiving the keys to our new house, seeing my daughter with her new daughter, Facetiming with the grandkids, when my daughter and grandkids from Florida pulled in the driveway of the new house, when my son chopped and stacked a huge pile of firewood for us, when I had my 4-year-old granddaughter for tea, apple picking with family, working on house projects with my husband, when my 7-year-old grandson read me a book about God and talked of how he loves Him, when the last work crew finally left and our new basement was fixed – I might linger on that one – it was such a relief – all the conversations with friends and loved ones at the 125 anniversary of our church, all the relationships that grew in my life this year. I’d skip over the painful moments, the hours spent packing and cleaning, that moment when we saw the water coming through the basement floor, the happiness in the moment just before I took a misstep and sprained my ankle, when I lingered too long on an offense, nope, don’t want to see them again, they were painful enough the first time around.

But, I have a feeling there would be some moments where I’d need to just hit pause and rewind, moments where I missed something as I lived them out, perhaps too distracted, too busy, too focused on my own internal perceptions. Did I miss a lesson there? How many times might I have made different choices? Would I see my blind spots on the big screen? Would you see yours? You’d probably see mine just fine!

One of the most vivid of Scripture passages that I can easily imagine in the life of Jesus is found in Luke 19:41-44, when Jesus is drawing near to Jerusalem, “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you.”

He wept for He could see the city as it really was, despite the beauty of the temple and all the rebuilding that had been done. “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace!” He knew what they were going to do to the Messiah, their King! How much He lived for them! What peace He could offer them! How now He would die for them and so few of them would recognize Him even as their Risen Savior. They would not repent. How useless and fruitless their lives were. What danger they were in.

He also knows how blind we are, oblivious or self-deceived or both, and how often we miss the true peace He provides, through His instruction in the Word, through the Holy Spirit within us, through circumstances and through those who can see through our blind spots. How excellent are His provisions for us in giving us ample opportunities to see Him and have true life and peace! How sad it would be for any one of us to have Him weeping over us, over all the ways we ignore Him and do not seek the things that make for peace. We are at risk of this all the time if we remain distracted or self-centered or self-deceived. We need others to help us see our blind spots.

Just a few months ago, I asked the leader of our Celebrate Recovery program, Dave Bryan, about accountability partners in CR. He shared a list of questions used in accountability relationships. These are perfect to consider this time of year, as we begin to consider goals for 2019. I’ll end this blog post with those questions and ask you to consider getting real with someone in your life in 2019. Pray about who might be a safe person to show you your blind spots, and point you to Jesus and His peace over and over. And may we all be willing to be a safe person for someone else, too! So, here are the questions. I pray they help you and me be open to the ongoing transformation into Christ’s likeness that He wants for us in the year ahead.

1. Have you spent daily time in the Scriptures and in prayer?
2. Have you had any flirtatious or lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, or exposed yourself to any explicit materials which would not glorify God?
3. Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings?
4. Have you spent quality relationship time with family and friends?
5. Have you done your 100% best in your job, school, etc.?
6. Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?
7. Have you shared the gospel with an unbeliever this week?
8. Have you taken care of your body through daily physical exercise and proper eating/sleeping habits?
9. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
10. Have you lied to me on any of your answers today?

by Jill Cristao, Director of Connections and Communications