I guess, like everyone else, as I welcome the New Year I also think about the previous year and years past. It’s a time of reflection and renewal. And while it’s a little daunting, it’s also a little exciting.
My friends, Daron and Margaret, and I have this sort of annual tradition. It’s something Daron came up with several years ago to help us all set the tone for a new year. Instead of just looking back on a year and determining what happened and where we are now, we look ahead and decide what we want our next year to be about. Much like our Emergence training, it’s not about reacting to something that happens to you along the way. Rather it’s setting out with intention, focusing your efforts on where you feel like God is leading you on your path. I will also say that usually there is a theme song attached. And really, why wouldn’t there be?
So as the New Year approached, I began thinking about my 2010 and what I wanted from it. My word for 2009 was “PREPARE” (theme song was “Prepare Ye The Way” by Caedmon’s Call) and I absolutely see again and again how that was accomplished and how appropriate it was for the past 12 months. I have been through so many changes, personally, professionally, spiritually over the past year, many of which I never saw coming but I’m so thankful to have been a part of.
It’s really insane to think of how different my life is now from where I thought it would be if you’d asked me, or for those of you who did ask me, years ago. I absolutely detest the “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question in interviews but I’m also human, and my mind can’t help but wander to those scenarios. Wowzers! I never would’ve imagined myself where I am now – personally, professionally and spiritually. But then again, that’s the genius and adventure of following Jesus. Sure, there are some things I’d change if it were left up to me. However, overall, I’ve seen and experienced and been through more than I was ever able to imagine. I am loving this ride!
So, I’ve decided that my word for 2010 is “ACTION” (theme song is “Awaken Us” by Casey Darnell). It’s not just a natural transition from my 2009 word, but it does accurately describe where I feel God has my heart currently. He has prepared me, and been faithful in that, so I am choosing to respond. I don’t think I could’ve acted on the things to which He’s calling me without my year of preparation. But I feel empowered, and I’m too curious not to move forward in His plans. I trust Him. He’s not let me down yet, so I have no reason to think He would anytime soon.
I heard a fantastic lesson by Dennis Rouse at Victory World Church this past Sunday morning. If you get the chance, give it a listen at www.victoryatl.com. It was called “Forward” and so many of the things spoke to me. You know, it was one of those lessons that was meant just for me (or you). One of the things that stuck with me was, “You’ve never played it safe before. Why do that now?” That kinda hit me right between the eyes, and I felt like it summed me up pretty well. And though there is a lot of uncertainty when I look ahead, I know I can handle it because He is with me. I just can’t imagine the wreck of a person I’d be otherwise. I would never have made it this far or accomplished anything of importance without Him. I might have made some really interesting achievements by some standards, but I wouldn’t have had the adventure of my life, which is what I’m on now! Sure, it can be really hard. It can be unexpected. It can even be unwanted. But it’s always what is best for me. I can’t always see that at the time, but it’s super cool to look back at the threads of my story and see the intricacy with which they are woven. I wouldn’t give that up.
“When you stop moving forward, you start losing your effectiveness for the Kingdom of God….Forward is your destiny; backward is your slavery.” – Dennis Rouse
So, 2010, you are shiny and new (two things I’m particularly fond of)…and I’m really looking forward to getting to know you better.