Reflection Exercise

Time required: About 1 hr. (Feel free to take more time if you need or additional sessions.)

Pre-reflection: Take a few minutes to sleep your computer, silence phones (vibrations off), log off chat, facebook, emails. Find a quiet place. Ask people not to interrupt you for this time. Take some deep breathes. Center yourself. If there are things that you need to do, you can visualize them, and put them down. Try not to carry them. Tell yourself that you will pick them up later. You can pray and give your tasks to Jesus to hold on to for that hour. You can meditate on a psalm to help focus yourself. Psalms 1 and 23 are some suggestions.

Reflection: Meditate on two types questions which can be summarized as presence and absence. (I will provide a few variants of it.) The time period that you want to reflect over is up to you. It can be a family vacation, a semester in school, a summer internship, first year of work, or four years of college. Please adapt the questions to your situation. I encourage you to have a piece of paper so you can jot down things that come up.

(a) Where did I see Jesus at work in my life? When did I feel God with me?
(b) What times was God missing from my life? When did I feel like I were trying to do things on my own?

(a’) What were the events and memories in (period of time) that brought me life, joy, and peace?
(b’) What were the events and memories in (period of time) that brought me darkness, fear, and anxiety?

(a”) What were activities that brought me energy, motivation, and increased my health and well-being?
(b”) What took away energy, motivation, and negatively impacted my well-being?

Post-reflection: Take a moment to give thanks for the things that have gone well. Also take a moment to process the not so good stuff. Ask yourself if there is someone you would like to share a part of your reflection with. If the reflection time left you feeling heavy and weighty, please talk with someone you trust and ask for prayer.

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