January 30, 2023
John 7:38 (NIV)
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
My One Word for 2022 was IMAGINATION. It has been my favorite.
This word has helped me to both remember what it is like to just dream and think and wonder, but also to consider things beyond what I already know. To imagine what it would be like to be up in the clouds, to imagine what it took to dream up Hei Hei (you have to watch Moana!), or to imagine what it would have been like to hear Jesus’ invitation to follow.
Imagination helped me consider the imagery of Revelation different and expand my view and vision of redemption. Imagination has provided a lens through which I find the Gospel of Jesus Christ both incredibly beautiful and compelling.
So no, I don’t want another word.
Even as I write this, I feel like I am convincing myself to keep it. Except– for as much as I have been able to see through the frame of IMAGINATION, that frame has taught me and reminded me that there is something more. It forces me to consider that doing what I’ve already done, while so appealing, might be limiting. It might constrict the view God has for me.
So, I had to imagine something else. I resolved that I could love my word and yet, pick a new one. Picking a new word in no way devalues the one I had. That’s the first thing.
I had to determine why I loved IMAGINATION so much. This is what makes me want to keep it, but it is also what provides the spark for me to consider what is next. This is a pivotal exercise: stop and consider that the things you want to hold onto have the potential to launch you into what’s next, if you are willing to let them go.
This year I have found myself drawn back to Eden -as in the Garden of Eden- letting the imagery and activity just unfold as I have read and reread Genesis 1 and 2, considering the Tree of Life and the freedom to eat of any tree (except the one, right?)
Instead of imagining God as some judgy overbearing adult, testing how much self-control I have by placing a marshmallow in front of me and seeing how long it takes to break my will power and eat it, I began to see this whole thing so much differently–so much more accurately.
We may freely eat of any tree. God’s word isn’t a prohibition, but an invitation. God invites us to cooperate and contribute and create– this invitation means that the life I live– the life you live- matters. God invites us into a life that He has created and intended and then He sources that life.
He formed humanity and then breathed into him the breath of life– God-breathed… and the human came alive with the breath of God– filled and sustained by His Spirit.
As I stop and consider this picture, if I allow it to take shape in my mind and sink into my heart, I try to imagine how filling it is to live like this. If God’s spirit would be the continual source of the activity of my life, the attitude of my mind, and the fullness within my heart.
What would it be like if God’s Spirit filled me and I became alive– with His life. This picture has led me to My One Word for 2023. (But I’m not ready to reveal it yet!).
But the point is to sit with your word from last year and use the things you love about it to spring you into considering that there might be more. Allow God’s Spirit to fill your life so that you come alive. Imagine His Spirit sourcing your life and your life flowing from His.
Life with God is simply a culmination of walking with God. Each step that we take with Him, drawing strength, and trusting Him, frees us from depending on every other thing that promises life but can’t deliver.
Have you ever had an all time favorite word? What was it, why was it your favorite, and what was its impact?
In what ways can your word from last year spur you on and inspire you towards something new this year?
Take a moment and imagine, then write down, how the activity of your life, the attitude of your mind, and the condition of your heart would be if God was the continual source.
Jesus, thank you for the word IMAGINATION and how You used it in my life to show me more of You. Thank you for the invitation You give all of us to follow You and know You -to cooperate, contribute, and create. I ask You to fill my life with Your Spirit so that my life continually flows from You. Jesus, In Your Name, I pray, Amen.