By Judy Mc Sween
I decided to end 2020 by a taking a time out: time out to relax, reflect, reframe, and rejuvenate.
The relaxation took the form of praise and worship, silence, and stillness and a general letting go, so that I could be open to hear the “still small voice”.
I reflected on each month of the year, pausing and journalling what there was to be grateful for in each month.
Initially the process was slow, but as I became more focused on my reflection, the highlights of each month became more apparent. I also recognised that the list became more diverse, comprising ‘big-ticket items’ like the cost of my car repairs shifting from $20K to $5K, to spiritual growth, life, to what could be called ‘small-ticket items’ that had major impact.
Small ticket big impact (STBI) is like arriving at Price Smart to discover that there are no queues to the cashier, so that your entrance and exit are completed in record time or driving into a packed Massy parking lot and a car exits from a spot just ahead of you.
Within minutes, my gratitude list was more than three times the number of months in the year! 2020 did not look so dark anymore. As I looked at the list, I realised that there were loads of STBIs, that had caused me to pause in the moment and to whisper, “Thank you, Jesus”.
To be honest, it is only as I took this time out and saw the STBIs, that the words of Psalm 118 resonated with me – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his loving kindness endures forever….The Lord is with me, ready to help”. It re-emphasised for me the importance of pausing, reflecting, and reframing.
As we continue this COVID journey, we can choose to focus on its dark side, or we can choose to acknowledge the dark and focus on the light.
The year found us celebrating two religious festivals that emphasise the triumph of light over darkness – Divali and Christmas. It makes me wonder, was 2020 really so dark, or did I just fail to see the light? John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world.
As we look forward, I encourage you to take a time out to reflect on 2020 and discern the insights that you will use to fuel your 2021, and what are the thoughts that will threaten to quench your fire.
In these early days of the New Year, may your hearts and homes be filled with light. Remember, “If you stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel you will successfully emerge from the darkness”.
Till we meet again, it’s Judy Joseph Mc Sween, Time Out Specialist, encouraging you to take a time out.