How often do we actually reflect on life? We do it unconsciously ever day when we say we like a song or a TV show, but what about reflecting on your life and what has occured let’s say over the past 30 days? Lately I have been looking at what has changed over the past 4-5 months, what we haven’t been able to do but also what the pandemic has made possible. For example, it has allowed me to reconnect with my friends from Charleston via Zoom and I am eternally grateful for that. On the other hand, since we are new to Charlotte I cannot go out and make new friends. It has allowed me to have the time to start this blog which I truly enjoy. How often do we reflect on our lives to see what was good and what was not? For me it’s probably once a year in January, unless I get a tug from God to look at something specific. Jesus reflected with God many times in the bible, he went to the Mount of Olives to pray, to make sure he was doing God’s will. (Luke 22:39-46) Being in relationship with a loving God allows us to reflect with him and receive loving correction when needed.
The podcast I am reviewing this week is called “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman, it is episode #133 and it is called “Learn the Art of Asking Questions.” Emily is a bestselling author, podcast host, and a curious listener. Her podcast is about making decisions, but also, it’s about making a life. She does not interview guests but poses thought provoking questions and the podcasts are short and sweet about 10-15 minutes long. Emily has a very soothing voice that I enjoy listening to. This session on Learn the Art of Asking Questions made me look and reflect on the past 30 days in a different way. She presents five questions you can ask yourself to reflect on the previous month. One was “In the past 30 days what was your most life giving yes?” and another was “Name something you are reconsidering from the last 30 days. As a result of the last 30 days, maybe you’ve reconsidered a long-held belief, a biased worldview, an unhealthy relationship, or the way you’ve allowed grief, anger, or fear to build up in your body. You may not have answers or resolutions, but reconsideration done in the presence of God is an important part of our becoming.” I answered all five questions but the last one was one that I actually had to dig deep on. I noticed much more anxiety in my day to day life lately, so my answer to that question was to realize when I am becoming anxious and use reasoning to figure out why I am so anxious. If I need to take action then take action, if not release it to God. Adam Hamilton in his book Unafraid says you can use the word FEAR as an acronym, Face your fears with faith, Examine your assumption with facts, Attack your anxieties with action, Release your cares to God. I have been attempting to do that.
In the beginning of her podcast Emily quotes John Dewey, “we do not learn from an experience, we learn from reflecting on an experience.” The best way to support a friend or family member who is going through a difficult time sometimes is to just listen. As Emily states “To have people in our lives who will not try to come up with answers to our many problems or worse, try to roll them in sugar or solve them by sundown. Instead, we long for people who will sit beside us in a silence, who will carry our complex questions, and maybe when the time is right, ask us some more. Not for the sake of telling us something they think we ought to know is guised with a question mark and not in a nosy or even a purely curious way. But to genuinely ask a question for the sake of love.” So, go ahead ask yourself a few questions and reflect on the answers with love, knowing that God will be with you and love you no matter what the answers are.
The positive ending to the blog is this story that I initially heard about from The Good Newsletter. It is about a man who went into a burning home and helped save a woman in a wheelchair and her grandson. Her wheels were stuck and she could not get out of the home. It is always heartwarming to see acts of love in the community. Thank God for people like this. Praying you have a great week and will take time to stop and ask some curious questions along the way.
Emily P. Freeman’s Podcast Learn The Art of Asking Questions Ep. 133