2011: A Year For Growth

Theres something about My One Word that no one ever talks about and it’s with good reason; the truth would stifle us. The reality is so overwhelming that it would keep us from ever getting started.

And yet for me at least I feel its time to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room. Here goes: This month you are not picking a word to get you through the rest of the year. Its much bigger than that. You will actually have to live with it for the rest of your life.

Talk about commitment issues!

Its not like you can spend the next 365 days working on patience, only to become impatient next year. Whats the point of being compassionate in 2011, if you adopt an every man for himself attitude in 2012? You cant spend the next 12 months trying to be humble, and then on the stroke of midnight on next New Year s Eve, brag about how well you did.

All of this is on my mind because I now realize that my previous words must play a role in the selection process this month. Whatever I choose for 2011 must further the change and transformation that has already taken place. The new word has to stand on the shoulders of those that have already come before it.

The first year I picked failure. Yes, its a strange word, but I was one of those guys who was so afraid of failing that at times I didnt even try. As a new believer it seemed like I had a new identity that would be there no matter the outcome. Winning or losing was no longer the sum of who I was. So in 2007 I embraced failure, didnt pursue it, but embraced it. Bring it on!

A few years later I wanted to address another major issue in my life. My mind was never in the present. I was always living somewhere in the future, sometimes worrying about it and other moments celebrating a great event that was years away. Some guys struggle with living in the glory days of the past. Whether youre looking backward or forward its all the same sinbecause you’re not living in the now. And so in 2009 and I choose the word moment.

Those two words are still with me today and will play a huge role in the year to come. In 2011 my word is going to be “seed.” Its comes from the line:The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed” (Matthew 13:31-32). Jesus, by the way, also compared it to yeast. But who wants to put yeast on the mirror or the dashboard?

Either way the notion is if you give God something small He can build it into something huge. The seed becomes the tree big enough to house birds. The yeast becomes the loaf of bread large enough to feed the family.

In the first 4 years of my walk the focus was on my own root system. This past year God has revealed, through not the most pleasant of circumstances, that a foundation is now in place. Certainly there are areas that need to be refortified, but a structure is there. And now for the first time I can afford to look above the surface.

2011 is for planting seeds: in relationships, in acts of faith, through any talents or gifts and certainly through evangelism or witnessing. This year I am going to offer up something small, and then sit back and see what God will do with it.

To be sure failure has a role in all this. Some of the seeds will not bloom. I know that. Perhaps most of them wont. But when they do, those few that survive, the first sign of growth that moment will be celebrated not for what it may become but for what it is. The word “seed” demands me to live in the now.

I am sure “seed” will help transform me, and I know it will be a part of my life long after 2011 is gone.

  • Carl

    Preach on, brother! Best of luck with your word this year. Your word are water to a withersome (if that’s even a word) plant that needs transplanting closer to God’s river. This counts as a checkmark on the side of success – your words have encouraged me a bit closer to where I know God wants me to be.

    😉 – Carl

  • Jessica

    I agree with Carl. Thank you so much for posting this and allowing God to use you. The whole thing encouraged me, but my favorite was the line, “Either way the notion is if you give God something small He can build it into something huge.” The talk about failure was awesome too. Those things are going to stick. Thanks Doug! Flowers are blooming! Remember, the wind carries seeds away from the original plant sometimes. So you might not see all of your flowers bloom, but they are and they are going to provide even more seeds in another place. 🙂

    Keep the faith.

  • Great word choice. I love the explanation that goes with it.

    We all need to plant seeds continually. Praise the LORD!