My Word For The Year
You know what a “word for the year” is, right? Miriam-Webster has chosen their word for 2012 (it’s “pragmatic,” which really isn’t very exciting either when you think about it). The American Dialect Society meets every January and selects a word they think best sums up the previous year. (It was “app” in 2010; still waiting for 2011’s.) And lots of people pick a personal word to lead them into a new year, a “my one word” that sums up their focus for the next 365 days. For me, it’s perseverance.
It took about a week for me to choose my word (or for it to choose me). I came across it one day as I was reading the Bible, specifically this verse:
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” –Romans 5:3-5
When I read those verses, I realized that was it. That was the word I was looking for. It fits what I believe God is calling me to right now concerning some things and as I walk with Him.
Perseverance. It means I can’t stop just because I’m tired. Or bored. Or restless. It means I can’t give up just because I don’t feel like doing it anymore. Or because it’s not fun. Or because it’s just plain hard. I can’t quit even when a hundred other things are calling for my time and focus and attention, not even when those other things are easier to do and easier to focus on (and probably bring more immediate satisfaction).
I have no illusions whatsoever that I will be able to accomplish this on my own this year. I’m not that good. Or that disciplined. I’m going to have to trust God for the motivation I need: “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him.” —Philippians 2:13
Still, it’s kind of scary to say this out loud, this perseverance goal. (Blogging’s like saying it out loud, isn’t it?) After all, what if I don’t do it? What if I can’t maintain it? What if, at the end of 2012, someone asks me how I did this year and the answer isn’t the one it should be?
Perseverance is a tough word on any given day. For an entire year, it seems almost an impossibility. So I’ll just try to take it one day at a time, and 361 days from now I (and you probably) will discover if I did indeed learn the discipline of persevering through 2012.