Growing up, my parents taught me to savor moments because the older you get, the faster they go. That is advice I should have taken more of this year because it seems to have flown by. To me, it feels like the beginning of COVID-19 and all of us hunkering down in our houses was just a few weeks ago, but that was almost two years ago! We have seen many things fly by this year, some things filled with great joy and others the deepest of sorrows. But I rest knowing that God is in control of this year and all of my years.
For the last several years, Bible Studies for Life has provided a New Year’s Assessment for you to look back over the year and see how you’ve grown (or didn’t) and to show you, even if the slightest, hope for the new year to come. This year, we’re taking a new spin on the assessment.
Yes, we’ll walk you through the Discipleship Pathway again with a handful of questions, asking you to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, then adding up each section. This will give you a quantitative score for maybe an abstract concept of growth. (If you still have your assessment from the last few years, this would be a great opportunity to dig those up and compare!) But in addition to this, Bible Studies for Life is encouraging you to create a small gratitude journal to begin journaling your thoughts each day. In what areas of your life do you feel thankful? What are you grateful for? I would urge you to not get in the habit of writing the same few things each day. Dig deeper into your soul and pull out new reasons to be thankful each day. As you continue this practice, it can be eye-opening to look back and see the journey God has brought you through, even in the toughest of times.
This journal doesn’t need to be anything special or fancy. I know I have dusty journals laying around that are barely half-full, at best. Or maybe you want to start a new note on your phone so you always have it with you as you go. This could be a great way to immediately write down moments of gratitude.
With each section of the assessment, we’ll ask you to write a goal. This is not a resolution or a hopeful dream, but an attackable, reachable goal for you to put energy toward. I would love it if those goals combined the Discipleship Pathway and a way to be grateful, thankful, or show gratitude toward. Last year, I broke down what memorizing Romans might look like for the year—a whopping 433 verses! Realizing that 433 verses is only 1.2 verses a day, it seems much more manageable. Now, to add gratitude to that goal, it could look something like, “I am thankful that I have my own copy of the Scriptures” or “I am thankful that I can have real, personal access to God, and I want to rest in His words.”
I am excited for 2022 and hope that this assessment gets you excited, too. I’d love to know how you plan to make next year one filled with gratitude. If you’d like to share your goals, thoughts, or even prayer requests with me, send me an email. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!