A few years ago I met with another writer every Wednesday morning at a coffee shop to work. Laptops set up across from each other, unlimited refills of coffee and the fresh pastries made for a very productive couple of hours. One morning I was sharing how at the beginning of the year I had decided I wanted a theme for the year. I wanted God to amaze me. I wanted to see His glory in the small things and His power in action. I wanted to be amazed. But I had to confess God seemed to have a different theme for that year. I told her His theme seemed to be focused on my self control. Her response was “If God can help you with self control He’ll amaze a lot of people!”
This week I’ve been reading a book that recommends spending the year with just one word. To explore the depths and treasures of the meanings not just in general but in specific application. As the news fills with obits for Nelson Mandela they search for just the right words to sum up his life, his story, his impact on the world he was born into and the world he left behind. Revolutionary. Hero. Icon. Humble. Passionate. Faithful. Gone.
I wonder what word you would use to describe the year you just had. Is it a word you chose in the beginning of the year with optimism and anticipation? Is it a word you look back and see has been following your every move for the past 12 months? Is it a word you are proud of? Is it a word you are known for?
I still love to be amazed by God. He is still refining my self control and amazing people around me. I have a word for next year. It has already begun nudging me and narrowing my focus and revealing some of its depth. I am excited and a bit fearful of where this word will take me. It is not a word to companion with without risk and vulnerability. But it is a word that at the end of the year, at the end of my life, I will be truly grateful if it is the first word you think of when you think of me.
What’s your word?