I'm sitting here at my computer, thinking back over the last 12 months. Well, a little more specifically, 11 months and 29 days. I'm trying to mentally review life over the last year and see where I am now compared to where I was. And to determine if it's helping me get where I should be going.
So, where was I? Last year at this time, I was attempting to have a little bit of quiet isolation to plan ministry and preaching for the year. It didn't quite work out, but that's the way things sometimes go.
I never finished the sermon series I had planned, though. Through a various series of both good things and bad, it became evident that my time in Monticello, Arkansas, was drawing to a close. That led to a move at the end of the summer to where we are now, Almyra, Arkansas.
Meanwhile, I've started back to school, primarily at the prodding and insistence of people that are looking out for my best interest when I just want to sit on the couch. The one class I took this fall was Hebrew, and I'll be finishing off Hebrew this spring, while also taking church history and Biblical interpretation classes. Those should be a little easier, as I've done that work before.
This past year also marked our son's fourth birthday, thus showing the longest stretch in our married life without adding a child. We added a cat, but it's not quite the same. Not that there's a lot we can do about the child thoughts, but we may go borrow one somewhere.
So, here I sit. I don't really feel much smarter than I was last year at this time, and I'm feeling like I've gone the other way from wiser. I've picked up a few skills, but more and more I've seen a great many areas for growth.
Have I met my goals? Not really, though that's a mixed blessing. I didn't really set any major goals last year. I didn't write a book or learn to play guitar, though I did produce a decent number of blog posts. I wrote and delivered a multitude of sermons and lessons.
So, was the last year a resounding success? Well, I survived it. My family survived it. We are still pretty happy to be with each other.
Can I find failure in last year? Certainly. I can find some success as well.
There's a bit of both in everything I've attempted. That's the nature of life for most of us. Not everything goes as well as hoped, but rarely do things go as badly as they could have. Were it not for the grace of God, it would have been worse. Were it not for the grace of God, it would have been better, and I would have forgotten Him.
So thank God for the grace that's gotten you here, and that will carry you the next leg of the journey. May you see His hand, whether of correction or protection, as you look back at the last year.