Every year now for probably ten years or so, I have gotten away for several days after Christmas but before the New Year on a spiritual retreat.This year, my end-of-the-year retreat will take place in about five hours, so I don’t have the luxury of doing all of the emotional and spiritual work that I typically do.
However, one item on my list that is a top priority is journaling through several questions that I have gathered over the years.How I wish I could take credit for them, but I cannot.And how I wish I could give proper credit, but I also cannot…I just know that they have come to me over the years from books and sermons and who knows where else.
So this is my New Year’s gift to you.
- How is my heart toward God these days?
- Who were the most stimulating people in my life (and why) this past year?
- What was my most meaningful spiritual experience?
- What were my most significant family moments?
- What was the biggest contributor to my personal growth?
- What was the biggest blunder I committed?
- What caused my greatest sadness?
- What was my greatest joy?
- What’s going well? (Really…what can I celebrate?)
- What am I trying to ignore? (That irritating stuff that I’m tolerating. Or that call to Great Work that’s making my palms sweat. Or that difficult relationship I’ve been pretending isn’t so difficult.)
- What’s boring me? (”Comfort is boredom with good PR.”)
- How do I want to be remembered? (What’s the ending I want to write for my life?)
- Who do I love? (And why aren’t I spending more time with these people?)
Take some time with a journal, and a lit candle, and as much quiet and solitude as you can scrape together, and think and pray through these questions. You will be better for it.