Highs, lows and go’s of the year

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By Shaun Joynt, jack of all trades and master of some; pastor; explorer of practical theology (PhD), worship leading, songwriting, and IT/webmaster stuff …

In just a couple of days it’s Christmas. Hopefully most of your shopping has been done and the final touches for a festive celebration with family and friends have been completed. Before we pop the cork and carve the roast, let’s take a moment to prepare our hearts not only to celebrate the arrival of our Saviour, but also to consider the many gifts He has abundantly blessed us with throughout this year. Not to forget the Holy Spirit who helped us face many challenges.

A number of years ago a friend of mine, who hails from the Netherlands and now resides in South Africa, introduced me to a habit that they practice back home. On old year’s eve they get together with family and friends and reminisce about the past year. They talk about the wonderful things that had happened (highs) as well as the difficulties they had faced (lows). It so impacted me that I started a similar practice, but unfortunately not consistently. (Note to self: make this a 2017 New Year’s resolution!) I’ve also added a third aspect, namely what are our expectations for the coming year? I call these the go’s. The idea is to move from high, to low, to go. This is a fruitful exercise to do on your own, but even more so when shared with a couple of folk who are special to you.

The following are guidelines:

  • What were your highs during 2016? Think of your health, family, friends, job, dreams that were realised, gifts received, talents developed, skills acquired, new friends …
  • What were the lows of the past year? Maybe you struggled with your health, difficult relationships, a retrenchment, loss of loved ones, traumatic experiences, dashed hopes, unrealised dreams …
  • What are your go’s for 2017? Are you going to trust for a job, a promotion, healing, restored relationships, realised dreams, cancellation of debt, more travelling, new opportunities?

During this exercise take the time to praise God for the highs, petition His grace to deal with the lows, and put your faith in Him for the go’s of a new year.

Christmas, being a time of celebrating Christ’s birth, is the greatest reminder of God’s goodwill towards us. Now for that roast …

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