In my last blog, I shared some questions for personal and intimate discovery with the Lord, and alluded to the possibility that there are questions that can also help us debrief previous seasons and subsequently live in greater peace with other image bearers of Christ.
As a precursor, don’t try to rush through these questions in a day, or even in a week.
That being said, here are some of my favorite go to recommendations for questions to consider when looking back.
What was surprisingly difficult? What was surprisingly pleasant?
Now let’s pause right here. Why use the word “surprisingly?” Well... because… With difficult things, it’s important to realize that some of the things that were difficult were not inherently as bad as they may have seemed and to take ownership of the role our expectations and/or entitlements may have played in forming the lense through which we may have viewed that season.
With pleasant things, where we had low expectations, we may need to provide more evidence for our future selves to not automatically let low expectations turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. Where we had high expectations that were exceeded, we can learn that we don’t have to be afraid of high hopes.
This will often cast a new light on ourselves and others from that season. And so I recommend following that up with these 3 questions: Who do I need to forgive?
Who do I need to apologize to?
Who do I need to thank? Consider taking it a level deeper by going through periods of time and specifically think about those. Seasons further in the past can be larger perhaps than recent ones.
Here are some suggested seasons:
Ages 1-5 (before school started) Each school you went to (walk through grade by grade)
Each job you had after college
Your times of unemployment
The time between signing up for the race and getting to your training camp
WR/GY/Semesters Training Camp
The time between training camp and launch
Each Month of the World Race
The time between the end of your race and PSL
Each job you’ve had since PSL
And as you go through those questions maybe think through the following groupings of others within those seasons to help jog your memory.
Church Leaders From before you were 18
Family friends Neighbors Coaches Teammates (sports/youth/college)
World Race Leaders (SQL, Coaches, mentor, team leader, etc)
Ministry Partners (Hosts)
Squadmates/former squad mates
Finally… let the Lord and your knowledge of scripture guide you through this process when you come up with answers for who to forgive, apologize to, thank, and follow through on it. All the thinking in the world, without follow through won’t bring the fruit we seek.
Are there questions that will help us look forward? Yep, but those will have to wait for another time.