04 January 2010

Looking back, stepping forward

Reflections are the norm when something ends and a new one starts. Such as the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. There was hardly any time to do such during the last few days of 2009. But I still tried, albeit mentally without writing it down, yet. The main reason was that where I am, there were only 2 official holidays, on 31st Dec and 1st Jan. Since the 2nd & 3rd Jan fell on a weekend, the break seemed longer. But this was nothing compared to those whose holiday break started long before Christmas. This was not so for us here. Even during Christmas eve we were still somewhere out there in the field, under the heat of the sun, conducting a pre-survey of field trip sites for our January workshop. Christmas day was spent in the office, with the usual workload. And so on. And yet, being reflective can be an attitude of the mind and heart. One can be busy and yet reflective. The mind doesn't stop thinking deep thoughts whilst doing something else.

As we talked about what we thought of 2009 and what 2010 holds for us, we could not help acknowledging the sovereignty of our Lord at all times. His care, comfort, provision and guidance are just a few things to thank Him for. We experienced successes and joys, as well as sadness, grief and disappointments in 2009. Some more than others. And yet as we enter 2010, we know that in allowing us to face these things in 2009, God has taught us a lot. He has taught us to be more: patient, sensitive to His leading, forgiving, prayerful, seeking of His presence, open to others, helpful, understanding, and to show more love , kindness and appreciation. To be more thankful each day. To be busy with His affairs more than the world's.

In terms of slowing down, yes, we also need that, in as much as we need to spend more quality time with each other as well as with other people: our loved ones, friends, and others whom God will lead us to meet.

Though we still feel the impacts of 2009, we can step forward and forge ahead in 2010 knowing that we are not alone. We hang on to God's promises at all times. Basic they may be, or too simplistic as others would say, but we would rather be simple and joyful, than complex and sophisticated but not rich towards heaven.

Let's face the new year with courage and determination to make a difference.

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