One of my favourite tools for individuals and groups is creating a timeline. Have you ever done one?
Basically, a timeline is exactly how it sounds. Go through meaningful events in your life or in a specific place and space, order them according to their place in time, and then discuss their meaning. To add a little more, you can help people consider things with greater depth by adding symbols of meaning, drawing out the items to be discussed, or colour coding things so they represent different feelings and weight in the story. And that is exactly what it is, a story being told so that you and yours can reflect and learn going forward.
Some of the best timelines show how one timeline connects with another, making a new timeline. Many do not consider how we are branches in another line, so it is both enlightening and enhancing to each participant.
As a ‘collector of memories,’ I often think of my timeline, and consider of how new experiences add and change the story I am in. Everything I do and all I go with impact me deeply, even when I pass them off as chance occurrences. This is true of all of us. But we do not all take the time to reflect on how these moments and memories are shaping us in real time, effecting all that will occur for us on the road ahead.
I left my last transitional church on a great note. I loved the conversations we undertook and the many moments that created the next chapter in their story as a family of faith. Their timeline was one of good memories and many great stories of smaller timelines joining together. It is an amazing thing getting to see how God worked in the lives of many, as everyone shares on how these moments impacted them, each with a different perspective!
I am thankful for this being part of my timeline, my ‘collection of memories’, as I prepare and negotiate the next transitional journey ahead! Make sure you take some time this week, on Easter week of all things, to reflect on your timeline.