“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
At the beginning of every New Year, I have this amazing hope, this incredible feeling of freshness, and a deep sense of wonder at all the possibilities that lay before me in the blank canvas that is the year ahead.
I plan plans, I dream dreams and I hope hopes.
Then with my hands full of plans, my head full of dreams and my heart full of hopes I enter the year anticipating a myriad of time to complete them all and a changed and transformed woman at the end…
Well, every year I am proven wrong about the time I have on my hands, as well as the transformation I will receive upon completion. The year laughs hysterically in my face as it speeds by me and leaves me reeling in the disappointment of what I didn’t accomplish yet again…
As we draw to a close of another year, a year that has felt as though I have lived it in a matter of minutes, I am brought into a time of quiet reflection.
I am drawn to reflect upon the state of my heart…
I have found myself once again at the end of a year gifted to me by my Sweet Heavenly Father, and I ponder about what I have done with the precious gift of time He has given me.
Have I learned to look at myself, and ask what I could do to alleviate the pain and suffering of a world that is broken and hurting, or have I just pointed my judgemental finger at all those whom I think are living a life full of sin, or living life the “wrong way”. Have I learned to Love more?
Have I wished for more money, more beauty, to be thinner, or smarter, to be more talented, to have more babies or less grey hair, or have I lived with a grateful spirit, one that looks at all I have with wonder and awe? Have I learned to live with a spirit full of Joy?
Have I succumbed to the traps of unrest set up all through life by the one who wants me to fail most desperately, or do I live in the Peace that surpasses all understanding, a Peace so deep that it flows in and through every fiber of my being? Have I learned to live in Peace?
Have I spent the year stressed out with everyone who is irritating me, who is not doing things the way they “should be done”, who is not going fast enough, who is just spurring me on to lose my cool? Or have I learned to be more Patient?
Have I spent my year focusing on what I need, or what I want, or what makes me comfortable, or what I deserve, or have I learned to put the needs of others before myself. Have I learned to be Kind?
Have I gossiped about my friends, my husband, my boss and my family, or have I chosen to focus on the good within them. Have I learned to be Faithful?
Have I been angry and always felt hard done by this year. Or have I learned to acquire a Gentler spirit?
Have I indulged in too many late nights, binge sessions on Netflix, too much junk food, not enough exercise, staying on the couch for too long and fought first instead of trying to work things out? Or have I developed a strong sense of discipline and Self Control?
As I reflect on the state of my heart, I know that the plans I plan, the dreams I dream and the hopes I hope can never satisfy, and most often than not, do not come to pass…
However I have come to realize at the close of this year, that it is these beautiful Spiritual fruits that should consume my focus year after year, these are the treasures I desire most, these are the Fruits that I want to grow in the garden of my heart, for it is in the toil of sowing these seeds that I will harvest wonder in each new year to come.