In our present culture we have many options for keeping ourselves occupied. This makes it very easy to go for long stretches without any real time of reflection in our lives. Without taking time to reflect on where we are and where we are heading, we may find ourselves slowly but surely drifting off-course. A slight detour – compounded by time – can take us to a very different place that where we intended to go.
Consistent reflection time helps us remain centered in life’s greatest priorities. It gives us time to identify these priorities, make plans around them and evaluate our progress. It also helps expose areas in our lives that need closer attention. Certain sins and idols can be blind spots for us if we never unplug with quiet times of reflection.
An evaluated life also produces a “growth mindset.” This passage from Ephesians illustrates this process of spiritual growth for followers of Christ:
Ephesians 4:14-16 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
As we grow in spiritual maturity, we learn to avoid the influences of the secular world by training our ears to hear the Voice of Christ over the voices of culture. We also find our place in the Body of Christ where we live and serve. In order for us to grow, we must take an intentional approach to growth. We need to determine the areas of our spiritual lives in which we want to grow and take the appropriate steps. Our prayer life, consistency in worship, areas of service and Christian community all need to be evaluated from time to time.
Healthy things grow and growing things change. Consistent times of reflection promote a “growth environment” which enables us to seek clarity and vision as we have intimate time with God. A greenhouse provides a healthy environment for plants to thrive. This same “greenhouse effect” is created for us when we have quality times of reflection. Growth doesn’t always come easily, but it will come if we seek it intentionally.
A life worth living is one that continually seeks to God’s guidance in directing our passions. Reflection time doesn’t just help reorder our lives, it allows Him to rightly order our loves.