I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I do tend to get thoughtful this time of year. That zero becoming a one — such a seemingly small change — carries a lot of significance. I can’t ignore the slow-motion ticking of the giant clock. One year farther from the starting gate. One year closer to the finish line. Whether I mean to or not, I find myself taking stock. Looking back at what was, looking forward to . . . what?
I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but last week I noticed a trend in several blogs I enjoy. As part of Ann Voskamp’s “Walk With Him Wednesday” blog challenge, people were choosing a word for the year. Ann chose the word, “here.” Jennifer at Getting Down With Jesus chose “imperfect.” I’m not sure why, but for some reason this idea resonated with me and even struck me as important. I wanted a word for the new year. And it had to be the right one.
If 2011 is a road, I confess I can’t see too far ahead. We have some decisions to make, and I have no idea what lies beyond those bends. But I have a picture — the same picture I’ve had since the day it painted itself in my mind as a young believer more than thirty years ago. It’s a simple picture, but has proven relentlessly true. I’m walking beside Jesus, holding His hand with childlike trust, and we’re nearing a corner. I can’t see what’s around it, and a twinge of fear pricks my heart. But then I look up into His face and see joyful anticipation there. He knows. And that’s enough.
This choosing of a word to name the year is serious business. Over the past week as I’ve pondered it, several words presented themselves as candidates, all of them worthy in their way. Two major contenders were Obedience and its cousin, Discipline. Not that I’m a rebellious slug, but I long for more of both. To live what I say I believe. To seize opportunity, not squandering my moments. To number my days and present to God a heart of wisdom. But I wasn’t convinced either of those words were the right one.
Then, this morning, it came to me, and I instantly knew. Rest. My word for the year is rest. Not the rest of idleness, but the rest of choosing the better part that won’t be taken away. Not the rest of the discharged soldier entangled in the affairs of every day life, but the rest of the soldier at ease, quiet, awaiting his marching orders. The rest that has ceased from its own works — that has no righteousness of its own based on performance, but that righteousness which comes through faith in Christ alone. The rest that can only be entered by those who believe.
This year I want to rest. Rest in readiness. Rest in faith. Rest in holiness. And as I strive to enter that rest, I believe I will find obedience and discipline already living there.
And now I’d like to enlist your help. Even though I’m a week behind, I added Ann’s “Walk With Him Wednesday” button to today’s post, because a.) it’s Wednesday, and her post last week inspired this one, and b.) I’m not sure how this will pan out, but I’d like to pursue a more community-focused approach to blogging this year. I’ve been a woeful failure at self-imposed consistency in this space, and yet I’ve managed to faithfully post on The Master’s Artist twice a month since 2004, rarely missing my slot. The difference? I expect it has a lot to do with community and accountability. And reasonable goals. Twice a month on a group blog is a piece of cake. Surely I can manage at least a couple of posts a week here.
So, here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it: Share with me your favorite weekly or monthly community blog events. I’m already scoping out Ann’s One Thousand Gifts for Mondays, along with L.L. Barkat’s On, In, and Around Mondays as one with just the sort of precision (or lack thereof) to fit my personality. I’m even up for a good photo challenge or theme-a-ma-jig, but there are so many out there, I’d love to hear which ones especially inspire you. Thanks in advance. And Happy New Year.