We all have different ways of reflecting on our lives – considering both where we’ve been and where we’re going. Sometimes the goal is realizing places God has been operating in our lives where we may not have realized it before. Sometimes it may be a means of dealing with particular places of pain or transition.
I was looking for a particular file on my computer and came across a description of an exercise I (presumably) had considered using in a program at one point or another to help people engage in this reflective process. I share it here with the thought that some may find it a fruitful means of prayer.
The instructions were these: Start by drawing a line lengthwise down the middle of a piece of paper. Then place a dot the bottom of the line, indicating your birth. Viewing the top of the page as the point of your death, place a second dot on whatever spot on the line seems to correctly represent for you the point in your life you are at now.
The line between the two dots you drew indicates the life you have lived thus far. Go through and identify on the line points of significance – events and incidences that have shaped the person you are now. Represent those points with dots on the line, labeling the points you have identified.
As you look at them, consider:
What is it that made those points significant to me?
What do they say about me? My relationship with God? My relationship with others?
What did I learn from those experiences?
After considering the past, look at the line between where you are now and the top of the page, which represents the remainder of your human life. As you look at the line, reflect on:
What do you imagine will be the significant points on that line?
Are there particular things you feel you need to do?
Based on your consideration of the past, are there particular areas in which you need to grow?
Finally, ask yourself: What do you need from God at this point in your life having reflected backward and forward?