May 17, 2023
This time of year is a waypoint of sorts. January is a little dot in our rear view mirror and summer is on the horizon. It’s an opportunity to check in on our words now they’ve had the chance to age.
For some of us, our words still feel relevant, while for others the newness may have faded quite a bit. If that’s where you find yourself, I encourage you to find ways to keep your word in front of you.
I’ve shared with you the importance of taking twenty minutes on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead, to be intentional and “create” the days before you. Make your one word an active part of this process. Prayerfully consider the impact and influence your word can have on the week ahead. Make a weekly appointment on your calendar as a check-in for yourself, a reminder of the hope you have for your formation.
Physical reminders are also helpful. Write your word weekly, or daily, on your calendar. Write it on an index card and post it on your mirror, dash, bulletin board, or fridge. At our church offices, our words are taped outside our doors, as reminders to check-in with each other. Here’s mine:
All these reminders serve to renew us, to reawaken why we chose our words to start with.
Renewal is everywhere around us in May. Flowers are blooming, the days are longer and sunnier, and we might be inspired to clean our garages, pull some weeds, and go for a walk.
Spring brings with it a tendency to order things and to get rid of anything that hinders the newness we long for. And underneath this activity is the hope that things can be good, again.
We long for what’s been dormant to spring to life.
We long for it spiritually, in the innermost of who we are and who we hope to become.
Last month, we observed the ultimate renewal, Jesus’ resurrection, His journey from death to life. The gospel- the good news- is that He invites us to experience the same in our own lives – in the lives we actually live, in the lives we are living now.
In light of that, here are some questions for reflection:
What do you need to be reminded of?
Where do you desire renewal?
Consider the months that are still ahead of us. Think about the seasons that remain.
What do you sense is ahead of you?
How do you feel about the future you are considering?
Are there things you long for, things you want to happen or hope to experience?
Take a moment and think back on the hope you felt as you picked your ONE WORD. Draw on that expectation as you use your ONE WORD as a lens to reflect on the questions and take some time to write out your answers in your journal.
Our answers aren’t arbitrary. What we think and feel and hope help us to see where we are. This will help us to reorient our lives, preparing to enter a season of renewal with a renewed sense of hope.
God is faithful, doing His work in us and our desires and intentions are indicators, an unfolding so to speak, of how and where we are being formed by God, for God.
So, I encourage you to pray and ask God for renewal for the remainder of May. Ask Him to reawaken the possibilities that excited and encouraged you when this year first began – all those hopes that lead you to pick your one word in the first place. Thank Him and praise Him for what’s to come.