Recently, I heard a challenge from writer Debbie Macomber on an old keynote speech from the 2009 ACFW conference. She suggested picking a word for the coming year. Just one word. I can’t remember what some of her words have been, but she said that having one word for the year has been enlightening and challenging. It’s sort of like a theme word for the year. I’ve heard of businesses selecting a word or phrase each year to guide and grow their workforce, and even some churches choosing a theme to steer their year, but I’ve never really thought of picking one for myself.
Something that Sparks
So here’s my suggestion…pick a word for your year. Maybe something you want to know more about like grace or forgiveness. Or maybe it’s something you want to incorporate into your life like exercise or nutrition. It can be any word. I’d pick something positive, though. No sense in making your word “stupid” or “mediocre”. Pick a word that sparks something inside of you. And look at the world through the lens of your word. Allow God to show you what your word can mean for you. Let go of your own preconceived notions and let all the various meanings of your word light up the world in a new way.
Just an example
My word is going to be “horizon.” Horizon means several things having to do with where the sky meets the earth, but the definition I was thinking when I picked it was a range of perception or experiences.
This is about your word
I want my life to expand. I tend to live in my own little world, go to the same restaurants, listen to the same music, hang out with the same people, and shy away from taking risks or new stuff. But this year will be the year I chase the horizon. I will go places I’ve never been before, eat different foods, and meet some new people.
Are you willing to take the challenge?
Someone once told me a horizon is a place you can never get to. It’s like a fantasy; someone’s made up world that doesn’t really exist. But I think the point isn’t the horizon, but that we’re moving toward it. It’s the journey that changes us. It’s fighting trolls and goblins, and meeting elves, and falling down and getting back up.
To go on a journey?
I know that the end product is important. If you’re aiming for some sappy, fantasy then you’re going to be disappointed. Frodo’s aim was always the end of the story. But if he had just walked right up and tossed the ring into the fires of the mountain then he might not have ended up much different. The trek to your beloved goal is important. It’s in the trip you will learn something, you will be loved, and have been loved, you will not have stayed the same.
Maybe your word will be just a word, but I have a suspicion that it will be much more than that, if you’ll let it.
What do you think about choosing a word for the year?