Reflecting Resolution for the New Year

I don’t mean to brag but I am known for my brain power. When it comes to interesting biblical tidbits particularly in grammar, history, and culture I’m rather sharp. But when it comes to remembering personal life events or names and such things I suffer from Teflon-of-the-Brain; it just doesn’t stick.

Every Thanksgiving when I was growing up my mother had a tradition to encourage us to be grateful. She would take dried Indian corn kernels and divvy them up between the family members. We took turns sharing one memory at a time from the past year and placing the kernel in the dish. It was a lovely tradition. I hated it. I would furrow my brow all day thinking, reflecting, and trying to conjure up memories to share that evening at dinner, hoping mom had dropped a few kernels before they got to the table. It isn’t that I am not grateful, I just have a difficult time remembering.

The Psalms are filled with history lessons. Some are Laments where the writer remembers when God came to their aid in the past and look to God’s faithful help again. Others are Thanksgiving Psalms that recount the heroic deeds of God for his people that helped define a nation and a religion. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I’d adjust it to say, “a life without reflection wasn’t one.”

When we come to New Years it is good to reflect upon the past year recounting the blessings and losses, the trials and triumphs, both great and small. It is important to remember those moments where God felt close and those times he silently led us through shadow-covered valleys. But if you are like me sometimes it is hard to keep track of such things and the end of the year seems like just another revolution around thus sun – different year with the same view.

So, this year I’m going to try something new and thought I would share with any of you who may also suffer from Cranium Teflonitus. I’m not one for keeping a personal journal so I’m going to keep a jar with a pen and post-it note pad or maybe use the unused Reminders app on my phone. When something happens (be it a prayer answered, a personal moment of blessing or loss, etc.) I am going to jot down the date and brief description. Now I know I will not be good at keeping a daily resolution but my goal is a couple random notes a week and forcing myself to think of at least one from the past week every Sunday. Then come next December I’ll have hopefully 50-100 or so memories to read under the glow of the Christmas lights with my wife and children. And, if my mom brings those pesky corn kernels, I can impress her too. But mostly it’s for me to know that through gain and loss God was with me yesterday and will be again tomorrow.

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