There will undoubtedly be lots of puns, jokes and analogies about the year 2020, mostly I suspect about the lucidity of our 20/20 eyesight. Vision will be a big theme, as will focus, clarity and single-mindedness.
I’ve worn glasses since the 3rd grade. I recall it with vivid recollection. My teacher, Mrs. Rabokus, thought it appropriate to ask me to stand in front of the class to show off my new glasses. I was mortified. The memory has stayed with me since, mostly as an example of what to never do to a child! What was she thinking?
As a glasses wearer, I’ve only known a life in daily, moment-by-moment need of help to see. I happen to be near-sighted, therefore my lenses are designed to help me see images far away with greater clarity. But as I’ve aged, and my eyesight has languished. I now wear progressive lenses so that I’m aided in seeing both distance and closeness. The optometrist tells me the next thing is cataracts, and to that I say “aarrgh.”
On this New Year 2020, it might be time for you to consider your own vision prescription. Do you need help seeing what’s next, both near and far? If so, may I suggest the following:
LOOK BACK – Our vision for the future is informed by our past. Take some time to reflect on the gifts of the past year, and perhaps beyond. Where have you noticed God at work forming and conforming you into his likeness? What aspects of the past year were life-giving and which were life-draining? Can you create a short list of 3-5 highlights for which you are most grateful?
LOOK UP – Our vision for the future is defined best by God. As you reflect on your past, be reminded of the myriad ways God invites you into a richer, more uplifting relationship with him. Are you sensing his empowering presence? Are you noticing his abiding peace? Are there questions you want to be asking him for clarity in your heart and mind during this season of life?
LOOK IN – Our vision for the future is clarified by our longings. Pay attention to the desires of your heart that God has placed within you. What is it that makes your fist shake with injustice? What is it that brings a tear to your eye? Noticing the deepest longings of our heart puts us in touch with the desire God has placed there for us to attend to. What brings you life today?
LOOK OUT – Our vision for the future is fulfilled by our service to others. Each of us are designed by God uniquely and beautifully. But we are not made for ourselves. We are created to love and serve others in Jesus’ name. What aspect of your current areas of service is most gratifying to you today? Are there areas of your life that you perhaps should release in the future?
Looking back, up, in and out will give you a renewed sense of direction for the year(s) ahead. Without such prayerful reflection we will continue to entrust our lives into the hands of our culture, the whims of society, and the issues of the day. Perhaps it’s a better choice to pray, pause, reflect, and attend to the fresh movement of God’s Spirit and invite the Lord to lead you forward with greater clarity and with a vision that’s more 20/20 in alignment with his will and desire!
RESOURCE FOR THE NEW YEAR!
Learn to practice the disciplines of prayer, healthy relationships and good works with this thoughtful devotional resource!