At the end of each year, I like to reflect on where I started the year, all that happened in the year and then ask myself if I accomplished all that God had for me in that year. Reflection is as much about looking forward as it is looking back. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate the victories God has given us, to see whom God brought into our lives or took out and to see where we have fallen short of our goals. I think it’s important for each person to ask themselves, “Did I do things this year that moved me closer or farther away from God’s plan? Did I accomplish the things He wanted me to do?”
I believe God has a plan for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11). We all have different talents and gifts that God has given us (I Corinthians 12:7). The question is, do you know what gifts God has given you and are you using them for His purpose? Have you found out how they fit into His plan for your life? You were put on this earth for a purpose. Your life matters to God and to others. A big source of dissatisfaction is not doing what you were made to do.
If you don’t know yet what you were made to do, ask yourself, “When do I feel the most alive? What brings me the most joy?” Contrary to what you might think, God doesn’t ask us to do the things we hate. You are most productive when you are doing what you love. God understands that so He typically asks us to do the things that we love. He just wants us to use them for His glory, not ours. He wants to use us to grow the Kingdom and to encourage others using the gifts He has given you. He’s put something in each of us. It’s our responsibility to find out what it is.
Bob Goff, who is one of my favorite authors, often tells people, “Find out what God made you to do, then go out and do a bunch of that.” It sounds simple enough, but the finding out is the hard part for so many. God did not create us to arrive safely at death. He created us to go out and do. When you get out and do things, there’s going to be wrecks, scars, bumps and bruises. That’s ok. It’s in those times that life is happening. It’s in those things that we define our purpose and find out reason to do more. We shouldn’t let them sideline us. We should let them push us to do more.
I don’t know what gifts God put inside of you. I just know they’re unique to you. I don’t know what God’s plan is for your life. I just know it’s part of a larger plan and your role is critical to the overall success of His greater plan. It’s up to each one of us to reflect on where we’ve been to see where we’re going. It’s up to each one of us to find that thing that brings us joy and then to figure out how to use that for God’s purpose. For me, asking myself the tough questions during a time of reflection gives me the ability to move forward and to do more. I hope you make your greatest impact for the Kingdom in the coming year.