March 2020 Ministry Column
A Time of Reflection by Debra L. Williams
Last week, many celebrated Ash Wednesday which marks the first day of Lent. From its start until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Lent has been a traditional time for fasting or giving something up or abstinence. Just as we carefully prepare for events in our personal lives, as a wedding, or birthday; a commencement Lent invites us to make our minds and hearts ready for remembering Jesus’ life, death and body resurrection.
The Lenten season is also a time of reflection and penitence, and for this month’s ministry column I encourage you to focus on the phrase, “a time of reflection.” The word reflection means “serious thought or consideration,” “pondering, or meditation.” It is also the ability to reflect on the “here and now”, on your feelings and thoughts. Reflection can be a useful way to make positive changes in your spiritual, physical and emotional life, as you assess and evaluate the decisions you’ve made in the past. So during the next “40 days”… Find time to Be Still and Reflect. It may be easier said than done, but one of the biggest factors in taking time to reflect should be stillness and, if possible, solitude. Let yourself Relax, sit and breathe mindfully, and try to block out any surrounding distractions.
Reflect on Yourself and Your Experiences. During moments of stillness, your thoughts may begin to rush with anxiety over things you need to do or should have done differently. Those thoughts are not necessarily bad, as they could be an important part of reflection at the start or end of you day. Change the way you think. Reflection can be an invaluable tool in changing a person’s thought patterns and responses to situations. It can help you actively assess your situation and reappraise it to feel more positive and in control.
As you engage in this “time of reflection,” I leave you with the words of the Apostle James from James 1: 2-4, The Passion Translation - "My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking."
Debra L. Williams, Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rogue Commissioned/Constituent Minister since 2008.