Until last year, the buzz words as the old year elapsed and the new year began were “New Year Resolutions”. That seems to have been replaced with the “One Word” concept.
One word? Just in case you have been on vacation somewhere outside the planet over the last month, the point of it is to pick one word that will act as a positive goal or theme for the coming year, a word to inspire your life by.
Since I no longer make resolutions for the reasons stated in this post, the one word challenge appeals to me. OK, it may appeal to me simply because my challenge isn’t the word for the year, it’s picking just one without ending up in a straight-jacket.
I thought back to 2010, which I consider to have started in the fall of 2009 really, and it left me in awe to think that God could really top that one. It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? The Learning to Love journey, Honduras, Compassion, adoption, and so much more... quite a year of amazing experiences and growth. If that’s what He was able to do with last year, what would this new year hold, and could it be the same, or better? What word would do it justice?
My VERY first choice, instantly and without a doubt, was “Jesus”.
It’s that simple, really. Jesus needs to be the focus, year in, year out. Everything else comes second, period. When our focus is on Jesus, HE sets our goals, our plans, our priorities, and there is indescribable inner peace.
Yet something about it didn’t quite feel right. I already have Jesus. Every year is the year of Jesus, so why should this year be any different?
To have Him and to surrender to Him are two different things, though...
There’s that word... It wouldn't quite do as my 2011 word, but it's a word I've grown to love. Surrender isn’t easy by human nature, but I learned in the past few years how much of an illusion that is. It doesn’t have to be difficult. That illusion of difficulty likely comes straight from satan, who tries so hard to make us believe that surrender is giving up something without hope of something better in return. That we shouldn’t risk surrendering. The truth is, once we learn to completely surrender in absolute faith, there is nothing quite like it, and the benefits outweigh the illusion of risk.
What’s to risk when it’s really NOT surrendering that is the risk?
It’s like everything else, though, that knowledge is dead on its own. The information needs to lead to transformation, otherwise it’s useless. I know I need to surrender, and until recently, it wasn’t an issue. I knew what I needed to do, but for a brief period of time, I chose not to let the information transform me. As a result, I lost momentum and focus, my priorities became a little skewed, leaving me feeling lost and unsettled. I desire to regain the intensity of my love and passion for Christ and to move through this dry season rebuilding my strength in Him.
While I understand that it’s human, we all experience it, I’m not OK with it staying this way, whether it's for one hour, or one week. Time without focus on Him is time lost.
I talked about it with my best friend, my need to keep the focus on Jesus. Perhaps a more accurate word, in that case, would be "re-focus", since I’ve had the focus until I lost momentum for a short while.
I like that. A lot. Is it my word, though? Is that it?
It didn’t feel as satisfying as I knew the right answer would be. The brainstorming continued. I had more questions... "Why did I need to re-focus, and what would it take to get it back?"
That’s when I knew.
My word for 2011 would be a familiar word, one that permeated my life last fall and changed everything dramatically. A word that seems to have made satan shake in his boots every morning when I got up and faced the day with renewed determination. One that upset him enough to change his attack tactics.
One that I need to continue, because the battle hasn’t yet been won... Victory is only in the sights of those running the race, fighting the good fight, holding on to faith.
That victory against satan will be hard fought, he’s relentless.
That’s OK. A wise man was once quoted as saying that a man cannot dream himself a character, he must hammer and forge himself into one. That process is going to cost, it’s going to hurt, and it’s going to take surrender, sacrifice, stamina, focus and determination.
That’s nothing new to me.
I will do it.
2011 will continue where 2010 left off...
My word for 2011.... OUTRUN.
I will outrun satan. I will outrun his pursuit, I will allow him to chase me straight into the arms of Jesus.
I will win the marathon for Christ.
I will stand in VICTORY with all of you, my brothers and sisters... to God be the glory.