Fast-Speed-BlurHow was your Christmas? I spent mine nursing a migraine headache. (Yes, I did go for Christmas service.) The headache wasn’t surprising. Here are some of the highlights of my last three weeks:

*My two boys took turns to get bad throat infections. *I drove to Penang to give my parents a ride to Kuala Lumpur (8 hours drive both ways). *Together with my sister, I organized my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary dinner and photo shoot. *Participated in three wedding services — all the couples were especially close to me. *Shared the Christmas message at three different occasions. *Went to a few year end socials *Put the finishing touches to the manuscript of a book I am planning to publish (though the publishers did the lion’s share of the work). *Saw some good friends off to Vancouver where they will be embarking on formal theological studies *Attended a key church’s 50th anniversary dinner *Met up with alumni from my theological college, some whom I had not seen for a long time

So, migraine city. And the sacrilege of not sending out a single Christmas card this year, not even e-cards! And don’t ask me about Christmas presents!

So today, the day after Christmas, I catch my breath. I go get a haircut. I take the time to reflect on the ridiculous schedule of the last month. If I had a chance to do the month again would I have done it any other way? Probably not.

I see my parents laughing (and they don’t have much to laugh about these days). I think of good friends who I love very much, now joined in holy marriage. I think of the precious opportunities to share the gospel to those who do not know the Jesus of Christmas. I remember blessing good friends as they embark on new chapters in their lives. I think of precious moments spent with my precious boys.

No, I don’t think I would have spent the previous month much differently. Which is not to say that I could have carried on at this pace. I suspect a major ‘flu attack was waiting around the corner.

I also suspect many of you had the same crazy end of year schedule as well. I guess there will be seasons in our lives when we need to go into overdrive, sustained by verses like:

“So don’t get tired of doing good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” Galatians 6:9 NLT

We need to be wise to schedule in mini-Sabbaths and down times after periods of intense activity. (I strongly recommend a haircut. Nothing slows time down faster than a wash and cut.) But I think we need to do one thing more. We need to reflect on the significance of the things that we are doing.

When we have to do a lot we find ourselves rushing from one activity to another. We lose touch with what we are doing. And why. We end up feeling empty, devoid of meaning. It’s bad enough to be tired. It’s very draining to the soul to be both tired and spiritually disorientated.

So when you take time to slow down don’t just rest. Take time to reflect on the significance of the things that have happened.

Are there lessons to be learnt? Blessings to savour? People to thank? Things to be grateful for? Sins to be confessed? What did you learn about God? Yourself?

I feel we waste so much of our lives because we do not pause to reflect on that we do. It’s like rushing through a feast. We may gulp down the best of foods but because we are not aware of what we have eaten, we do not feel full. Nor do we enjoy what we eat.

An unreflected life is really such a waste.

So I hope that we will all be able to kick back a little before the New Year. But don’t just switch off. Run through all that has happened in your lives recently. (A journal is really helpful here.) And see what the Lord has been writing in your life.