Hi, I’m Ken Jones and this is A Classic State of Mind with a word about … Beginnings.

Every year, it happens. During the last few days of the old year, and the first couple of days of the New Year, my wife and I and our son who lives with us take a trip to evaluate and plan our lives. We examine where we’ve been in the last 12 months; did we reach our goals, do what we said we wanted to do. We ask ourselves what went well; what went wrong, what went South?

And, after we’ve done an assessment of how we finished last year, we set goals, prayerfully consider what we’d like to see happen in the next 12 months. We write those things down. Personal goals. Family Goals. Goals for our spiritual lives. Where would we like to travel. What would we like to do for God this year? What would we like God to do for us, this year? We carefully document and record what we dream about for the coming year, and we commit that plan to God.

2019 was no different. We spent time in the Bay Area, talking and dreaming and writing out our plan and what we hoped for. When we were finished, on New Years Day, in fact, we enjoyed a nice breakfast and then began our drive back to our home in the Redding area. We stopped for a brief rest in Williams, as many travelers driving north and south on I-V often do. What we did not know was that our brief rest would turn into something we had not planned for. We had not written it down as part of our hope for the New Year.

For, you see, when we stopped in Williams, our son was unable to get out of the car, and in fact, told us he felt as if he was having a stroke. Our relatively young son was, indeed, experiencing a stroke, and was in urgent need of immediate medical care.

Two weeks in a Chico hospital. Months and months of physical therapy and medical follow-up. None of it planned. None of it predicted. None of it was avoidable. And yet, all of it was under the watchful eye of our Sovereign God.

This week, we embarked on our journey again; a ‘time-out’ to review and plan. We examined where we’ve been in the last 12 months; did we reach our goals, did we do what we said we wanted to do. We asked ourselves what went well; what went wrong, what went South? And we reflected much on the profound changes that have taken place in our lives since Jan. 1, 2019.

But after we had done that assessment of how we finished this last year, we again set goals, prayerfully consider what we’d like to see happen in the next 12 months. We wrote those things down. Personal goals. Family Goals. Goals for our spiritual lives. Where would we like to travel. What would we like to do for God this year? What would we like God to do for us, this year? We carefully documented and recorded what we dream about for the coming year, and we committed that plan to God.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to go away with my family and evaluate, and plan, and dream. I really believe that God has known all along that we need a chance every so often to ‘start again,’ or start over, or start something new. All our days are like that. Have you noticed? Monday’s have a way of turning into Tuesdays. And Tuesday night, we get to call it a day, so Wednesday can begin. January will, in God’s providential time, move into February, and March and Spring. And Spring will turn to Summer, and Summer will … well, you know. The God who inhabits time also owns the plan. And as I plan? He knows.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

(Jer. 29:11)

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