My One Word: 2015 Edition
It's that time of year. The presents have been opened. The Christmas tree has gotten tired. We're not sure if we want to still bother turning on the tree lights. We look up and realize another year has passed us by.
As we look ahead to 2015, we wonder what this year will bring. And for many of us, we ponder the ever-popular New Year's Resolution. They usually come in the form doing better. Eating better. Working out better. Spending money better.
I don't know about you, but I have trouble keeping up. By the time the Superbowl rolls around, I have abandoned ship on my resolution and decided to live the year as it comes.
That was until a couple of years ago. A couple of years ago I was asked by one of my Adult Sunday School classes to come in at the first of the year and teach about New Year's Resolutions from a new perspective. No pressure. I thought about quoting Solomon and the idea that there is nothing new under the sun.
Instead, I traveled to Chicago and downloaded a book I came across called My One Word. The authors of My One Word postulate that resolutions don't work. Duh! But instead, they started leading their church each year in picking one word - a theme for the year. The word can be anything but should focus on something you want to instill in your life over the next year. It's not a word you pick in 30 minutes. It's a word you mull over. A word God gives you.
I liked the concept enough to try it myself and to teach the Sunday School class about it January. For the most part, the class loved the idea and many of them picked their own words to focus on for the year.
My first one word was ENOUGH. I wanted to instill the idea that God was ENOUGH for me. I was ENOUGH with God. I had ENOUGH stuff (can I get an AMEN?) and I had eaten ENOUGH.
My first attempt at this word thing paid off. I got rid of a bunch of stuff. I spent a year focusing on God being enough and learning to accept where I was. I blogged frequently about ENOUGH. I loved it.
I loved it so much I went back for more in 2014. The word this time SAVOR. True confession: not as much of a success. A few months in, I forgot about savoring people and life. I was busy. Transitioning was happening.
And so we come to 2015. A new chance for a new word. Just because something doesn't work doesn't mean it doesn't have value. So, I've been praying about my 2015 word. CHOOSE.
Why choose? Choose because God has been pressing the idea that we always have a choice on my heart this year. A choice in how we will show up in the world. A choice in our attitude. A choice in our next steps. I'm committed to not living as a victim, but with someone who chooses the next step.
For those of us who are Christ followers, choice also gets presented before God. When we choose, we lay our choice before God to let Him be the leader. To let God confirm that this is a good choice. TO confirm that we follow Him before our own whims.
So what are the choices that are ahead for you and me?
I can CHOOSE to spend time with God each day.
I can CHOOSE to trust God with my every moment even when things don't seem to be working out like I planned.
I can CHOOSE to see God in the everyday mundane things of my life.
I can CHOOSE to take next steps of faith - even when it's risky - even when it's scary.
I can CHOOSE to be a good neighbor and friend.
I can CHOOSE to eat better and exercise more (yep - we're still working on that one from the enough year).
I can CHOOSE not to wallow in the places I feel stuck. Instead, I can CHOOSE faith, courage, and risk as I follow God and make changes to my life.
I don't know how 2014 is wrapping up for you. It may have been a good year. It may have been a bad year or somewhere in between. And while I think CHOOSE is a great word to focus on, you may need a different word all together. Maybe you need FAITH or TRUST. Maybe you need BE STILL or PRAYER. Or something all together different.
To choose a word, can I recommend the following steps?
1. Pray over your word. God will let you know the right one. If you are stumped on a word, try visiting www.myoneword.org for some fresh ideas.
2. Find a Bible verse to claim to go along with your word.
3. Journal about your word as much as possible throughout the year. How are you doing with the word? What can you add into your life to instill the concept?
4. Watch God work!
I will say this. Whether you buy into the one word thing or not, one foot faith chooses to be intentional with the journey ahead. One foot faith reflects on the year behind and sees possibility in the year ahead. One foot faith experiments with new concepts and words to grow on this journey of life. Happy New Year!