The Love Reflections List: What's On Yours?
Updated: Jan 3
When I sat down to write this a flood of old, year end clichés popped into my head. All those sappy and sentimental sayings that we utter half-seriously but with the best of intentions. I've been guilty in the past of that same old doomed-to-fail process of making a New Year's Resolution List. And just as quickly, forgetting it.
Over the past few years however, I have become more attuned to what I hope is the bigger picture of the "New Year's Resolution". Simply plucking ideas from thin air and writing them down randomly is not the way to see them be fulfilled - at least not for me. I've learned that taking time to review and reflect over the past year (and even the previous one or two), to summarize what I had improved or achieved, where I fell short, and to take stock of the next steps in the areas that were to continue as works-in-progress, I was more likely to follow through with concrete goals in my mind.
But, even still more important to me as I move through the seasons of my life, are the questions I face about HOW I've accomplished anything on my list. Questions such as, was it done in love? Did I help to spread love? Did I encourage love? And then, most importantly, are the items on my new list looking forward through the lens of love?
There are countless forms of love in our world and more than ever, we're in dire need of rooting them out. From the tiniest act of love such as holding the door open for someone or giving someone our place in the grocery store line to some of the most magnanimous gestures of love such as feeding a stranger or hosting a newcomer or rescuing an abandoned dog, our every move should reflect love.
Love is mentioned, depending on what translation you're reading, up to 538 times in the Bible. When Jesus walked the earth, His message was abundantly clear, "... Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV)
No matter what items we plan to add to the list for the upcoming year, I wonder whether we can first, view them through the Love Reflection, to be sure that the goal is founded in the spirit of love.
As I struggle to think in a more "outward" focus (which is extremely difficult for an introvert like me) I remember how my Mother, who was quiet and also introverted, found ways to live out her Love Reflections List. She was an avid pianist and loved to play for seniors in retirement home settings, she volunteered to serve at various church gatherings, and she sang in the choir, just to name a few. All these are small acts of love that will rebound back in our hearts as well as immerse all those around us in that love. I long to take a lesson in love from my Mom to add to my own Love Reflections List.
Jackie DeShannon sang back in 1965, "What the world needs now is love sweet love, it's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love sweet love, no not just for some but for everyone." It's a shame that 58 years later, we're still struggling with that.
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, we will ring in a new year full of promise and potential. It is my hope and prayer that each and every one of us takes a few moments to make a Love Reflections List filled with the promise that the coming year will be filled with us all spreading love-focused gestures.
Today, as we look back over the past year, let us remember with humble gratitude the multitude of gifts You've lovingly provided us. Remind us, Lord, that through love, we can flourish and grow, fulfilling Your plans for each of us. As Your creations, You know each hair on our heads and each thought in our hearts. And as a new year unfolds, move us to reflect each and every day, on each undertaking and action through the lens of love. As we are continually blessed with Your unconditional love, let us be the mirrors that reflect Your love on our neighbours.
In Jesus' Name we pray,
~~ God is within me and I will not fail~~
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