The importance of looking back
My Year One son brought home his school diary today. His first few entries, made at the beginning of the year were in a big, ungainly hand, and all identical. "On the wekend I went to church and it was fun."
Halfway through the book I can see where the speech therapist has been working with him, helping him to plan out his ideas and linking words and beginnings and endings. His handwriting is smaller and he's writing about a broader range of subjects (including the time we all allegedly went on a dolphin cruise and saw a whale... hmmm).
By the end of the book his handwriting is small and neat, his spelling is more consistent and he's writing a full page, mostly coherently.
It's pretty amazing to see his progress, to see just how far he has come and what he's learned and it reminded me of the importance of looking back on other things in life, reviewing and reliving, just so I can remember how far I've come and what I've achieved, or, more often, what God has done for me.
I've always been a fan of keeping journals for this reason, and although I have been less inclined to write things down in recent years, I still try to write a list every New Year and every birthday of things I've learned or done or experienced in the past 12 months.
Review is not just useful for individuals - it's wonderful for groups and churches and friends to do corporately. This week in our church we had a 'thanksgiving' day where everyone was invited to get up and share something that they were thankful for over the past year.
What are you thankful for as you look back?