For 2015, I chose Release as my word for the year. I imagined myself releasing my life to God, releasing any anxiety, releasing any overfunctioning, and so leaving more room for God’s Spirit to work. I can’t say my one word worked perfectly–which didn’t matter since hey, I was releasing perfectionism too–but I kept coming back to Release throughout the year, and more importantly kept repeating it as a spiritual practice.
I appreciated my one-word experiment last year so much that I’m at it again for 2016, this time with a new word: Wonder. For me, Wonder means:
- being curious – as Alice said about her adventures in Wonderland: “Curiouser and curiouser!” Instead of being afraid of her fantastic experiences and the different beings she encountered, Alice understood her life as an adventure. She could explore and be curious. In our world today, where difference is often met with fear, I hope instead to be curious.
- asking questions–as poet Rainer Maria Rilke has written:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
- being filled with awe–at the wonder of God’s creation, at God’s work in the world and in my own life. Lamentations 3:22-24 come close to being life verses for me in Scripture, and definitely from the old King James Version because of the way the verses begin:
It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
I’m looking forward to this new year – to wonder at God’s mercies in my life, to ask good questions, and to be curiouser and curiouser. May you also have a wonder-ful year!
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