At the start of any project, I always tried to start by working out what my main aim was – and what I wanted to achieve throughout the process. This was particularly evident during my EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) – where the whole journey was just as important as the final product. As such, I’ve been thinking about the direction of my writing, and how I’d like to take myself on a journey through this blog. I came up with the tagline; reflect.explore.inspire – hoping to capture the three aspects I wish to harness and embrace this year.
Firstly, we have ‘reflect’. I’ve come to realise that over the past few years, I haven’t given myself time to stop, other than a fortnight of family holiday once a year. My life became centred around studying, exams and meeting deadlines; to the extent that, if I’m honest, I didn’t know a life outside of education. I’m still not sure I do, and that’s something I’m determined to change. Education has always been a huge part of my life, I’ve loved going to school, and new knowledge and information was something I lived by. Yet this year this has been taken away, at least in the immediate sense, and at the moment there is just a void. This year I want to reflect on what has been, and what is to come. I also want to reflect more on God’s plans, and what His word says. I truly believe that there is freedom to be found within His word, and I want to learn more so I can have that knowledge and truth at my fingertips.
My verse to represent ‘reflect’ is John 8:31-32. In the ESV, this reads as:
‘So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Next up is ‘explore’. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be fascinated by the marvels of God’s creation, and how much of the world there is to discover. Despite living in a small island nation, I’ve actually seen very little of the United Kingdom, and I’d quite like to change that. I often find that the most beautiful spots are those that you happen across unexpectedly; I can think of numerous occasions that we’ve driven along a narrow country lane in Scotland, and found a loch surrounded by mountains and the occasional covering of snow. God’s creation is everywhere, and I’m so excited to explore more of it over the next few years.
I also think that ‘explore’ can be relevant to things other than travel. For many years, I have been a self-confessed ‘bookworm’, yet the past few years my reading has been hindered by the never-ending pile of revision and essays. Books themselves open up entirely new and magical worlds, ones I’d love to explore, and make new friends in the characters the authors have created. I’d also class myself as an avid historian – the past is intriguing and I believe there is much to learn from it. Exploring the past both throws up new events and cultures, while also showing light on parallels from history that need to be studied and learnt from.
Illustrating ‘explore’ for me this year is Matthew 6:33. I really like the New Living Translation for this verse, as it emphasises God’s provision for our lives.
‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.’
To round off my mission statement, I have ‘inspire’. As much as I’m content with blogging solely for myself, if in turn my writing can inspire others, then I’d consider that the icing on the cake. Over the next year, as I discover what life has in store for me outside education, and hopefully find life in all its fullness as God has promised. As set out in the Great Commission (Matt 28:16-20), Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. I can see this as being relevant in overseas mission, but also on our own doorsteps. Maybe another way to do this in the age of the internet is through online medium such as this. I can’t help but feel that this year is one for opening new doors, discovering new paths, and sharing my journey along the way.
I can’t help but feel excited to see how reflect.explore.inspire pans out in my life this year, and to see what God has in store.