South Africa

Back to the future

January 03, 2019

Back to the future.

No, not the movie. Literally for a moment, turn your back to the future and look at the past year. See the ups and downs, the lows and highs. Hear the laughter and the cries, feel the love and the disappointment. Look down at your feet and see where you are, how far you have come, how much you have endured. “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news…” – Isaiah 52:7 (NIV) Your feet might be tired, but they are beautiful.

The new year is here. The world tells us to make new year’s resolutions and nothing is wrong with doing that. Let’s not just look to the new year, let’s remember and celebrate the past year.

I’m sure as Moses and the Israelites crossed the sea and the desert, they took a moment to look back, to see how far they have come. It’s these moments that encourage us to keep moving, to keep going and endure. To take another breath, another step forward. They learnt from their past mistakes and their wins. They learnt how God provided in the past and therefore trusted Him for the future. 

Every year my family gets together on a farm in the middle of nowhere. No signal, electricity or people. Just cattle, trees and sunshine. The days leading to the new year are a time of food, family, fun and fellowship. It starts with Christmas, then it’s my birthday (27th of Dec. FYI) and then it’s the new year. In this time, I pick a day, climb the hill close to the house, choose a comfy looking rock and sit. I pull out my phone and start making notes about the past year. I have done this for a few years and I keep that note on my phone so that I can get back to it during the upcoming year. It has helped me value past experiences (good and bad), learn from bad relationships, develop better friendships, align my year with what God has called me to do and keep me on track with my personal development and spiritual growth.

It’s my “Renette Rethinks, Revaluates, Reveals, Ruminates, Rewrites and Reflects” moment. 

R you ready?

Here is the process I follow:

Before making a new year’s resolution, think back to 2018.

Write down the hardest, most challenging times of 2018 and how you overcame them. How did God show up? Where did you find your strength?

Write down your favourite moments and why they made you happy. What are the small things God put in your daily life to bring a smile to your face? What were the small wins for 2018?

Write down the times you fell on your knees and the lessons that you learnt. Who did God bring along your path to help? How and when did God provide when you didn’t see a way out?

Write down the awe moments, the divine interventions, the moments where God showed His majestic power. What are the miracles of your 2018 year?

Write down the new things you became aware of in yourself and how you feel about this new awareness. What unique skills and qualities has God given you?

Write a summary of 2018 that you can carry with you to 2019. Include the lessons you learnt, the things you want to improve on and the things you want to keep doing. 

Start with: In 2019, I want to…

Renette is an associate financial developer with OM Africa Area; making regular field visits to facilitate the relationship between donors and ministries. During her free time, she enjoys discussing odd scenarios with friends and mastering the art of a good cup of coffee.