New Year. New beginnings. New start. New chapter. New Resolutions. This is what the first few days of a new year represents or at least is what we traditionally talk about and think about on the first days of January.
I’ve made some serious strides this past year to move my phone away from arms reach before I go to sleep so that when I wake up in the morning it’s not the first thing I grab to start my day.
It had been ruling my life for too long and I made some intentional choices to make 2016 different. I’ve been doing pretty well and wouldn’t you know it, today the first day of 2017 I failed.
I blew it. I went backwards instead of moving forward.
I couldn’t believe it! I wanted a do-over immediately.
I had left it too close to my bed and I unthinkably made the choice that I didn’t want to. Sigh… it happens.
For several few moments I was berating myself as I talked to God and wondered how I slipped so quickly. I had a flash of genius, and the word GRACE came to mind. I could start again in a moment. Whew! The day could be redeemed, the year can start over. I am grateful.
January often is a chance to reflect and make some changes and many of us chart out goals and resolutions. I’ve preferred for many years now to choose a word rather than make resolutions because as I just demonstrated resolutions don’t seem to work for me.
I don’t know who started the trend but choosing a “one word” has caught on like fire and it has given purpose and direction for those of us who have abandoned the resolution making.
Facebook and Twitter is strewn with others sharing their chosen word for the year and it is inspiring to read. Choosing a one word for me has been about “being” rather than “doing.” When I make resolutions it becomes more about doing than creating a momentum of purpose of who I hope to be. I’ve been a human doing rather than a human being more than I’d like to admit.
My one word has become not just a theme for the year but also a pilgrimage. God has surprised me many times as I’ve watched the word we’ve chosen together come to life and intersect with my journey.
I’ve been thinking for a few weeks about my word for 2017 and have had many conversations with God about it not sure I want to pick this particular word. It challenges my comfort zone and scares me at the same time. I’ve made the decision to go with it because it won’t go away and when I pray it pops up over and over.
The word is (drumroll) DARE!
What I discovered as I intentionally dug into the word DARE the definition is: to have adequate or sufficient courage for any purpose; to be bold or venturesome; not be afraid; to venture. (Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary)
When I mined just a bit deeper, The expression to dare in the Scriptures never has the meaning of “to defy” “to challenge” or “to terrify” It is always found as the translation of tolmao “To manifest courage. (International Standard Bible Encylcopedia)
My spirit soared as I read these words and I cross-referenced the many places in the bible “dare” is found. I cling to the thought “to manifest courage.”
I can do this.
DARE can be my one word for the year.
I have many new ventures ahead and am not sure all what or how my one word will cross over, but I am trusting that this is the word God has chosen for me for 2017.
I am confident He will help me “manifest courage” for each assignment. I believe God will empower me as he directs my steps. Right now, that means finishing my second book of which the deadline is creeping up and I am having to dare to make schedule changes and saying no more often to hunker down and write.
To not leave my “one word” out there all alone to take on an ambiguous meaning, I like to choose a Bible verse to punctuate my yearly one word. I’ve been studying 2 Timothy and here’s the encouragement that Paul gives to Timothy in the first chapter.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
The Message Bible says it this way,
God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
That seals it for me. God will help me “manifest courage”
As I dare…
to live intentionally and purposefully.
to grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically
to equip and empower others.
to share my faith more in 2017.
to live in humility
to judge less and give more grace
to forgive and be kind and compassionate
to love well
and that I would trust God dare to so much more.
Will you join me and the many others in choosing a word for the year? For inspiration and help you might want to check out oneword365.com It’s a great site to get you going.
I DARE you!!