Okay, so I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve just figured out my one word for 2015, and it’s related to something I’ve been mulling over the last few weeks.
The week before Christmas, I meant to have all twelve Scripture readers I needed for Christmas Eve–six readers in English and another six to read in other languages, a mix of men and women, younger and older. But with just a few days to go, and given other ministry responsibilities, I had just a few readers confirmed and time was running out to coordinate the rest. So just three days before Christmas Eve, I made an announcement asking for volunteers.
That sounds simple enough–quite natural really–but for me it seemed last-minute and not as well planned as usual. After all, I had meant to ask each reader individually and ahead of time. I should have made time for that, I thought to myself, and only reluctantly released that ideal and gave myself permission to find the readers another way.
Happily, what I thought was last-minute turned out to be just the right time and even better than if I had planned it.
I got my twelve readers in English, Vietnamese, Urdu, German, Korean, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and low German, both women and men, young adult and older, one woman so new to the church that I likely wouldn’t have even asked her.
Everything turned out so well that now I wonder why I had ever expected myself to identify each reader and ask each one personally. Clearly I didn’t have to plan everything ahead of time in just that way. I could trust the church to be the church engaged in worship and ministry. I could leave room for the Holy Spirit.
When I shared this with one of our Christmas Eve readers, he replied,
You’re just like Pope Francis then. I heard he’s told his church officials not to plan everything so tightly and to leave room for the Holy Spirit.
I was glad he likened me to Pope Francis and not to the church bureaucracy on the receiving end of the Pope’s critique, but even more I was glad for the affirmation. I could plan without overfunctioning. I could trust the Holy Spirit at work.
So that’s the story behind my one word for 2015: Release. I’m releasing worry and overfunctioning. I’m releasing myself to the Holy Spirit.
Have you chosen one word for 2015? I’d be honoured if you would share your word in the comments below.