December 7, 2011
Living five minutes from the beach in southeastern North Carolina, its not uncommon to see some people wearing shorts into late fall. Yet, it has grown increasingly colder over the past few days and the anchor on the Weather Channel informs me the temperature is going to continue to drop. As much as I want to fight it, I realize the time has finally come to drag out the winter clothes from the depths of our closet. While I was searching for sweaters, jackets and scarves, I came across a box on the top shelf.Забор из профнастила с кирпичными столбами
Inside were pieces of artwork, stories, special projects and school progress reports my wife and I have saved over the years from our two daughters. I carried the box over to the bed and took a moment to go through the contents. It was striking to see the progression of growth that has taken place. In a way, I received the chance to see them grow up again just by looking at each piece.
A report card brought back memories of elementary school when one of my girls struggled in a certain subject. I remember how in frustration she pondered if shed ever understand. Now, shes a high schooler who excels in that area. But, there are new subjects that are stretching her and she is wondering again will I see growth.
Everything in me wanted to grab the box, hop into the car, drive over to the school and take her out of class. She needed to see with her own eyes how far she had come. No longer was she the little girl who couldnt quite color within the lines, was just learning her multiplication tables or all the state capitals.
Without the opportunity to look back, all she saw was her present circumstances and it made her question will I ever progress. The thing is we all react the way my daughter did. As humans, we are wired this way. Take you for instance. You began this year with the promise of a new start. You were filled with the hope of change.
But, these past ten to eleven months have flown by and for some reason all you can see are the places where you have fallen short of living out your One Word. Old tendencies still rear their ugly head on occasion. Disciplines that you thought would quickly become natural still feel forced from time to time. Granted, you maybe a tad more patient, forgiving or generous. Yet, there are just too many gaps that still exist in your character.
Rather than celebrating growth, the focus is on present day you with all your shortcomings and inconsistencies. My charge for you would be to look backwards. If you are reading this blog entry, it means you are on the verge of making it through your One Word journey. From being intentional about surrender intervals and capturing your thoughts to loving those who get under your skin and impacting those in your sphere of influence, you have almost a years worth of experiences that speak of your growth. Remember, a step, no matter, how small means there is movement in your life. These tangible expressions of growth are reasons to celebrate.
Are you where you want to be? Chances are good, no. Do gaps still exist? Without a doubt. Have you mastered your word completely? No, but like scripture reminds us we are a work in progress. What I hope you are learning from this experience is that you are never done with your Word. It remains with you and becomes embedded in your character. It also leads you to your next word and the word after that. You can have hope that the work that God has been faithful to begin in you, He will be just as faithful to complete. A walk with God means a walk in progress where momentum towards intimacy is taking place. This is the lens I hope through which you now view your life.
My one word for 2011 is “encourage”. When I choose my word, I could see myself offering encouragement to my family, friends and those I come in contact with. I do strife to do just that and love doing that. But, toward the end of the summer my life took a sudden turn that I certainly did not see coming but God did and now I am receiving encouragement from family, and friends and God has opened up to me the wonder of His own encouragement. I am excited to see what “one word” He will place on my heart for 2012!
Mike, Thank you for your steadfast encouragement. I have begun to wonder what what my next One Word will be and what it will do to my journey through the coming year? It is nice to hear that my One Word from this year will remain with me as part of my character. And, as always, i will turn to the Lord.