This the first year that I have chosen One Word for the year.
“One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.
One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
Your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.”
I had thought of choosing “Nothing” last year, as in “The Son can do nothing by himself.” (John 5:19) or “By myself, I can do nothing,” (John 5:30)—but it seems a bit too “Click on me” and attention-seeking, like a trick One Word.
My hope was that I would do nothing—not choose a holiday destination, blog topic, activity, or conflict, without checking in with Him. But perhaps it is providential that I never did write that post, for I have failed. J
* * *
Oh, Lord, I thought: I want that, I need that, in my writing and in my life.
I could write so much more than I do. I could lose so much more weight. I could use my time so much better. I need your wind in my sails.
* * *
The other word I wanted and desired was “acceleration.”
Then I thought of that Ignatian question, “How do these words make me feel?”
Short answer: Tired.
Nope, they were not for me. The updraft of the Holy Spirit was not in them.
They were fine as prayer requests, as free gifts from God, but not as goals.
* * *
So I choose another word which is the real, true desire of my heart: Alignment.
I visualise God as a waterfall tumbling with good ideas. The ideas we need to blog better, to run a home or business better, to get healthier or parent better are found in Him (a bit like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter, but one for good ideas). I want to bring my mind, spirit and imagination in alignment with him.
I see Jesus as a very kind person who knew how to love. I want to bring my heart in alignment with his.
I can be full of nervous energy, bursting with ideas, plans, dreams, schemes and ambitions. I want to bring these into alignment with the dream He has for me–for He has a dream for me, just as I have a dream for each of my daughters.
He is wisdom. I picture his wisdom as a straight golden ray of light, like you sometimes see on sunny days in Oxford. I want to step into that ray of golden light, in alignment with him.
All of us do, achieve, produce a fraction of what we are capable of, and a fraction of what we want to because we fritter away our energy on ideas, activities and plans which are out of alignment with who we really are; with the dreams and ambitions we have for ourselves; and the destiny our Heavenly Father has in mind for us.
I want to submit what I write, where I travel, what I buy, what projects I take on to my Father’s wisdom. I want them to be in alignment with his ideas.
I want to slow down, to live deliberately, in Thoreau’s phrase. Ah, that would be another nice resolution: “I will live my life slowly!”
* * *
One last reason I want to be in alignment with God: He is truly a waterfall of ideas. When I am still and quiet and listen, ideas and creativity flow, more ideas for blog posts than I have time to write.
When I am tired, I feel a bit insecure, too middle-aged, not disciplined enough, not energetic enough, not well-read enough.
When God’s people tell him about their inadequacies, he does not bother to reassure them. (Some of these things may well be true!!)
He has another solution.
* * *
This was Jeremiah’s response to his prophetic call:
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jer 1 6-9)
Alignment: When God puts words in your mouth.
Or as the Lord reassured Moses,
“The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:11
For that, one must be in alignment.
* * *
When we are in alignment, God helps us speak and teaches us what to say, and a blog post or essay or talk which could take hours or days can be done rapidly, and is exponentially better too.
Exponentially better, exponentially faster, exponentially more—the only way I know to bring off any of the above so that the very thought does not weary me is:
So Lord, take 2014. Make it an amazing year in my life, the best so far. And let me live it in alignment with you.
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