Yesterday as I was sitting in my normal, curled up on the floor position addressing envelopes I caught a segment of the Today Show where a discussion was promoting the adoption of One Word as sort of a life beacon for the year. Being January 1st, and being a captive audience surrounded by envelopes and stamps, I was drawn to the idea of choosing a word to live by for the entire year. I struck out trying to find the name of the man who was interviewed but I put my Internet sleuthing skills to work and found the website at oneword365.com that explained the concept. “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.” – taken from oneword365.com
In the past I’ve written thoughts on certain words that have challenged, encouraged, or soothed me. Choosing just one word and making it my mantra or word to live by for a full year seems like an unrealistic endeavor, but it’s definitely worth a try. Think about it. Last year on January 1st, my word might have been ‘thrive’. On September 1st, that word would become ‘survive’. Still, there is something enticing about adopting one word to enter the year, drag it through circumstances, develop it, then move on. Before watching the Today Show I had already been considering words to live by; my favorite words, not because I love the sounds when pronouncing them, or the way the spark immediate interest when reading them on a page, but because they have merit and deep substance. Words we choose have an impact on life Psalm 19:14 “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
From a collection of words that included integrity, peace, encourage, wisdom, comfort, focus, love, attentive, I chose the word ‘discernment’ for this initial phase. Discernment is the ability to grasp the meaning of and evaluate situations for their qualities and characteristics that lead to making wise decisions and appropriate choices. (Or something to that effect.) Think about these words in Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Of all the other favorite words, discernment covers the territory of how we all want to live – our best life, pure, and blameless. Discernment, woven into the fabric of my life will produce the results I’m seeking for this New Year, but my focus has to be on the immediate, on the moment. If I get this moment right, then the next, then the next, the results have a better chance of being what I’ve aimed for – not perfect, but aligned with what is best. Remember Job, way back in the Old Testament; the guy who had everything, suffered miserable losses, before being blessed again? He had the right word in Job 34:4 “Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.”
I’m thinking Job had the right idea. How about you? Will you join me and others in choosing a word, like discernment, to get started toward learning what is good? What is your word of the day – even a word, day-by-day is the beginning of something better.
Ready? Let’s get out there!