I love the year end because it provides an opportunity to sit and look back over your shoulder and discover quite how many things have happened in the chunk of time of single year. On Jan 1st of this year, I was performing in a Japanese old people’s home – I can’t quite believe that what seems a lifetime ago, is not even a year in the past.
This time last year I wrote, in ‘Thoughts of 2016‘, the following:
This year I have been to places I didn’t think I’d ever be going, developed close friendships that I didn’t know would ever exist, grown to love albums of music that were yet to be released and learned lessons I didn’t know needed learning. The happiest thing of all is that I feel like I’ve ended the year in a better place than where I started back in January. I’ve lived more. What a blessing.
As we move into 2017, my prayer is that in one year’s time I’d look back at the 365 days currently before me and be able to say exactly the same thing as I just have in the paragraph above.
It is wonderful to now be sitting in December 2017 and to be able to tell you that I can say the same thing once more. This year has been so full of different people, different places, and different moments of time in which I have been able to do some more living, and I am ending the year with a deep sense of gratitude for all that has happened, all that extra life lived.
Another lesson Learned
At the end of 2016 I wrote that, most of all, I had been taught about life’s indeterminacy. This year, I think most of all, I have been taught about life’s richness.
Although the calling for my life is in many ways a simple one – to love God and to love others – it is also an inexhaustible one: it is truly as Lucy finds out in the Narnia books, that as we grow, we find God to seemingly grow with us too. The riches of God’s love are inexhaustible.
Things to reflect on
I’m about to go away for a few days with friends to the cottage, and because I’m going away, I’ve already taken some time out to reflect. One of the things I’ve done in this time is to ‘colour the year’, as a way of recognising everything that has happened and as a way of seeking some perspective, but there are a few more things that I am yet to do.
I don’t know what you will find helpful as you look back over the last year, but I hope you get some time to think about which colours you would choose for the different months of 2017 and what you would be thankful for within each of them. I hope you have time to be thankful for the people who have been significant features of this last year, to pray for world events, to think about the things you have learned, and to listen to some of the songs that have made up the soundtrack to your 2017.
And finally, there’s another reason I love the year end, aside from the opportunity to reflect. I love the year end because I know that endings usher in beginnings. I love that when we countdown at New Year’s, we are counting down to a start so much more than it is to a finish!
So here’s to the 2018 we have ahead of us! May this next year show you something more of life’s richness, and may you yourself be richer in who you are come 365 days time.
Happy New Year!