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Reflection Takes More Than a Mirror

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” Peter Drucker

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” Thomas Paine

I have for much of my life focused almost obsessively with producing but have in only recent years discovered the power of reflection. Not the kind of reflection we do by looking in a mirror, but the reflection that comes from examining the depths of our soul, searching our character, motives, and behavior that flows from them.

Nowadays I see the value in getting off the spinning wheel of daily life to reflect. Yesterday I took our daughter Hannah with me to Florida. Florida is like a second home as I am in that state more than any other except my own. God has given many friends, so many places to go and people to meet up with in this state. But not this trip.

Hannah and I needed some time as she is about to graduate, and the traveling part of the trip offers us some great time to talk. She is hanging out with some great friends, not the least of whom is her boyfriend and his family who live here. We had a fine time eating at the amazing Sonny’s BBQ last night.  Corey, Hannah and I will play golf on the trip and share meals, but for the majority of the trip I will be hidden away to read, write, and reflect.

If you are a leader or if you are not, you need times to get away. Perhaps you have not earned frequent flier miles to allow you to spend a couple of days in a place like St Augustine, Florida, but you can go somewhere, get away from the grind, and reflect.

If you lead a church or ministry, or for that matter anything that involves people, you seriously need to get away. See the forest and the trees. Look at the big picture, not only the immediate. Look back to reflect on who you are, be reminded of the gospel’s truth in your life, and relish that. Further, look ahead to what God might do with you if you ran as hard after him today as you did in the vigor of your youth.

Are you a student nearing graduation? Get away and reflect. facing a big decision? Ditto.  Going through a hard time? Be still before God. Get a fresh perspective. We love to get to the beach or the mountains to breathe the fresh air and get a fresh view. Do this. Soon.

So I am checking out with the posting of this. I may check a little email in a break only because I have a few pressing matters I must attend to, but that will be less than 30 minutes of the day (life does go on in fact).

I need time with my God. I need to write–it has been too long. I need to think, to remember, to dream. In short, I need to reflect.

I am guessing you do as well.
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Alvin L. Reid (born 1959) serves as Professor of Evangelism and Student Ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he has been since 1995. He is also the founding Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism. Alvin and his wife Michelle have two children: Joshua, a senior at The College at Southeastern, and Hannah, a senior at Wake Forest Rolesville High School. Recently he became more focused at ministry in his local church by being named Young Professionals Director at Richland Creek Community Church. Alvin holds the M.Div and the Ph.D with a major in evangelism from Southwestern Seminary, and the B.A. from Samford University. He has spoken at a variety of conferences in almost every state and continent, and in over 2000 churches, colleges, conferences and events across the United States.