Have you chosen your One Word for 2021? Some people make resolutions. Some people switch this up a bit and focus on one word for the year. As one who used to regularly make and break resolutions, I find selecting one word that drives my focus for the year gives me a sense of accomplishment and provides opportunities for self-evaluation.
Over the years, I’ve chosen words like Mindful (Mind Full), Shalom, Joy, and Fearless (Fear Less). At the end of each year I make an assessment of how this One Word impacted my life. It’s really been a gratifying way to enter and exit each year and provides more than enough self-reflection on areas in my life that need change.
Vision was last year’s word and I posted a wrap up how vision played a role in how I lived life during one of the most challenging years I can remember. My One Word is something I take time to think about before I decide. Different options swirl around in my head until one rises to the top. This year, the one that topped the others is:
Each day we make hundreds of choices. Some choices during the day may seem inconsequential but are they? Each day we look at options. Life is nothing but choices. We choose what to eat, how to dress, what to say to the rude person attacking our opinion, how to respond to someone we disagree with, what to do when faced with challenge, what to think when presented with new information.
And we need to take responsibility for those choices because every choice we make defines who we are. We are working with Peanut now on making wise decisions as she navigates her tween/teen years and all its glorious pitfalls. Some day each one of us will have to account for every word, deed and thought we’ve chosen. Choose wisely.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. ~James 3:17
The choices we make in life will determine what sort of experiences we’ll have in the future. What I choose to eat now is going to affect my health in the years to come. My decision to exercise or not is going to impact my physical well-being. How I treat relationships now will come back to reward or haunt me. The person I am today is based on the choices I made yesterday and the person I’ll be tomorrow is based on the choices I make today.
But the fruits of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….~Galations 5:22-23
But we are all interconnected to each other and someone else’s choice may affect me. So, some of my choices will most certainly affect others. This makes my decision to look for wise choices that much more important.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. ~James 1:5
God has given me free will and the ability to choose my path. Sometimes I choose wisely and sometimes I choose very, very unwisely. It’s always beneficial to make sure I weigh all the consequences of my decisions and the motivation behind my choices. One thing is for sure….even when I make unwise choices, my God will always be there to correct and guide me back. Like a loving parent, he doesn’t stop loving me because of my stupidity. If anything, he uses my unwise choices to teach me lessons I need to learn. Sometimes those lessons are very hard…like on a Ph.D. level.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23
So, Choices will be my focus for 2021. I hope to be more mindful when choosing my thoughts, words and actions. I hope my choices will be motivated by compassion and not selfishness; by wisdom and not just knowledge; I want to sow the seeds of promise and peace instead of discord and hatred.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8
Today is January 6th….Epiphany on the Christian calendar that marks the commemoration of Jesus as Christ by the three magi who traveled to see the Messiah. The word epiphany also is synonymous with the moment someone feels a sudden understanding of something important. Perhaps it’s not by chance I’m choosing to post this on Epiphany.