Broken Mailboxes

It has been said freedom is found in confession. To test this theory out, Im going to own up to something that happened 20 years ago. No one else knows about this incident, not even my parents. So, here it goes.

As much as I want the My One Word project to grow in scope and popularity, I hope one person isnt counted amongst its viewers. But, if by chance, my next-door neighbor growing up as a kid just happens to be reading this blog, I have a confession to make: Im the person who destroyed your mailbox back in the summer of 1990.

If it is any consolation, I want you to know it wasnt done on purpose or out of hate. In fact, Im kind of embarrassed to say it was an accident.  You see I was riding my bike down the hill with my headphones on rocking out to some Bon Jovi. I had my head down and my eyes closed when I hear SMACK! Suddenly, I find myself lying flat on my back. Eventually I woke up from the jolt and realized what had happened. Your mailbox went down fittingly in a Blaze of Glory.  Not knowing what to do and fearful of the trouble I might get into, I propped your mailbox up against the others in the line and got out of dodge.

The funny thing is Id never have to confess my silly mistake of the past if my teenage self would have followed the universal rule of paying attention to your surroundings. Instead of watching where I was going, I was lost in my own little world.

Sadly, I am still prone to making the same mistake and chances are good so are you. You started this My One Word experience hopeful that by allowing God to work inside of you that a more well round and spiritual version of yourself would appear on the other side. Now, please dont misinterpret what I m saying. There is nothing wrong with hoping this process transforms your heart. Yet, this should never be the end goal of your growth. The question you must ask yourself is how your one word can be used to help those around you.

Personal transformation is insignificant unless those around you not only notice this change, but benefit from it as well. With this in mind, during the month of October we want you to focus on sharing Gods transformation with just one individual of your choice. However, there are some guidelines to follow. If your word is patience you cannot pick the most patient person you know. If your word is compassion then your friend with the biggest heart is off limits. If your word is truth the individual who never tells a lie cant be the person you choose.  These people are important; hopefully you used them earlier in the year to help establish your community. But now that autumn has arrived your focus must be elsewhere.

Heres the catch: In October we want you to spend all your time and energy on the most complicated person in your life. If your word is kind, you have to pick the meanest person you know. If your word is moment you have to pick someone who is always worried about the future. If your word is tender you have to pick someone who is prone to outburst and anger.

This cannot be some distant relative or long lost friend who you only see once a year. This needs to be someone who is a daily part of your life; the annoying coworker, the client that lives to complain, the neighbor down the street whos made it very clear that he has no desire to be neighborly. God will let us know whom we are supposed to love by making sure our paths cross theirs.

To view your Word through the lens of others is a huge undertaking. This is why we are starting out with just one person. I know these exercises with My One Word have caused you to struggle and have pushed you to your limits. However, the reality is My One Word is comparatively easy until you bring other people into the mix. To love another person is hard, it takes a strength that you do not possess on your own. You need Gods help.

The only way youre going to be successful this month is to see your word as a prism of sorts. You have to be willing, every day of October, to put yourself in a position to receive Gods love so it can bounce off of you and shine on someone else.even if that someone is a very complicated individual.

  • Your One Word is meant to impact others. In October we want you to spend all your time and energy focusing on the person who you find it hardest to love. Apply your One Word for their benefit.  Direct your word toward this individual as well as look for opportunities to put your One Word into action. Pray for this person and journal how your perspective of them changes over time.

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2010.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!