When I was in High School, I worked part-time at Marshall’s Department Store in Barberton, Ohio. The last week of the year we did a year-end inventory. The owner needed to know exactly where the business stood – if there was a loss or a gain, and how much. There were no computers back then. With a notepad and pencil as our only tools, we sat on dusty boxes in the dingy, dimly lit third floor of the building, counting and classifying each piece of merchandise and recording our findings. Slowly, methodically and tediously we plugged along, until we finished this necessary task.
How about doing a year-end inventory of our lives? Notebook and pencil in hand, we can look back over 2010, and see pretty much where we stand at this year’s end.
My 2010 year-end inventory reveals some beautiful, specific answers to prayers – and others that have not yet been answered. I tally up victories in some areas, and find other issues that still need more work. I see blessings I didn’t ask for or deserve. I’m thankful for old friends, new friends, and people who have blessed me. I find there were times of confusion, and distasteful events; celebrations as well as moments of disappointment. But what really stands out as I tally up my year-end inventory is God’s unfailing kindness and goodness. I can emphatically testify with the psalmist David: “You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11)
Have you done your year-end inventory?