Reflection is a habit that’s more significant than we may think.
When I began my Doctor of Ministry studies, one of the first books we were assigned to read was The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, by Donald A. Schon, published by Basic Books. It highlighted the importance of reflecting on what one was doing and why. It quickly got my attention as an essential practice not only for leaders, but for all of life.
Whether it is a common question like Why do I often eat so fast?, to more serious matters like Why did I get so upset by what that driver just did ?, or Why does that person’s criticism bother me so much?, it is healthy to reflect on what my reaction was and why. Without wholesome reflection on such experiences, we’re likely to stay in thinking and response ruts and see little growth in our lives.
The undesirable end to such reflection is not to get down on oneself, or to feel hopeless about our inability to change. Instead it is to gain insights on how we might experience meal times differently, cultivate different expectations and responses to demented drivers and driving, and to discover the true, false and growth points from criticism – to suggest outcomes when reflecting on my examples above. It may be a time to call on God’s transforming power for change as well.
There is a costly absence of reflection in most of our lives. Such times are too often missing for me. It’s the old busyness fiend that crowds out needed times of reflection, just as busyness robs us of time with God, our spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, or space to think about how to approach a thorny issue differently.
Perhaps you noticed I’ve changed the name of my blog to Randy’s Ruminating. I did so to indicate what I’d like to do here — ruminate, reflect. Actually it’s an old name of my blog that I’ve returned to because I’ve reflected on a better purpose for this blog.
How important is reflecting to you? How often do you practice it?
One thought on “A Healthy Habit”
So true, Randy!