An elderly friend has just been to see his GP. So what?

But this was the first time he had done this for 50 years! He wasn’t even registered with a St Albans practice.

Last month I had my annual health-check with my doctor. I need to know that my body is functioning well.

Next month our car has its MOT check. It’s vital to know the brakes will work and the frame will hold together.

This month I have another type of check-up, a one-week ‘planning retreat’.

‘Retreat’ is a strange word because the purpose is to go forward!

I use the time to ponder on the year that has passed and plan my work for the year to come.

My life is busy and my diary is full. If I am not careful I get so involved with daily detail that I lose all sense of big picture proportion.

To do this I have to go away from my home and work base, disconnect myself from social media, emails and the web, and rediscover myself.

As a Jesus disciple, I do all this in a context of prayer.

This includes going out for long walks in a beautiful part of the English countryside, seeking to know what God wants me to prioritise for the coming months.

If my body needs health-checking, and if my car needs its MOT, I believe my life too needs a regular investigation.

And I can’t afford to wait 50 years.

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