A Word from Ashleigh Plane

With lockdown lifting and school returning, I wonder if you have had a chance to reflect on this period of time? The lockdown may have given you an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple things: a morning coffee in the garden, board games as a family, a stroll through the whispering gums that surround our beautiful neighbourhood. Or your experience may have been tethered to a new level of insanity as you tried to balance work, school at home, and the needs of your household without the usual support of family and friends. The end of lockdown may just be your moment to come up for air.

The ability to critically reflect is an important aspect of learning. In design education, we constantly evaluate, refine and remodel ideas to produce the best outcomes. At a basic level, we may use tools such as a PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting) chart to outline the positive aspects of a design, comment on interesting features, and discuss things we could improve on. But it is a deeper level of critical thinking that informs and shapes the future. This is where innovative progress is made. This is where we ask the deeper questions. What is the purpose? How will this influence the individual, society, and the world? Will it hinder or heal?

These deeper questions are also helpful for our spiritual lives. God’s steadfast love is there for us to take hold of. He wants us to come to him, reflect on him and mold our lives around his truth. How has this time drawn you to Jesus? What do your reflections look like in this season? What will you take into the next as you go from here?

Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it at the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us – a crucified God – must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world.

John Piper

My encouragement to you as we return to freedom and normality is not to settle idly into everyday life. Take time to reflect on your life through a Biblical lense. Cherish Jesus’ sacrifice, be renewed by it, acknowledge the power of the Cross, and worship God every day.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2

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