Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, January 06, 2016 6 comments
Today, January 6, is Epiphany, celebrating the "wise men from the East" coming to honor the Christ child. The Magi had been watching for something good and were willing to make great effort to get close to it. It is a powerful demonstration of hope--what it looks like, how it works.

three wisemen on camels photo: Three Wisemen on Camels ThreeWiseMenblueskyandstars.jpg
Image credit: rappj at Photobucket
Hope comes from keeping an eye on the far horizon and being captivated by the good we see there. We lose hope when unhappy things in the immediate environment consume our vision and we stop regularly scanning the horizon. Big signs could come and go, and we'd miss them. The first step in getting the blessing of an epiphany is to be watchful.

My prayer group friends decided this year we would make use of the "unresolution" approach to celebrating the New Year called One Word that's highlighted on THIS site. Here's a quick description:

If you’re like most people, each January goes something like this: You choose a problematic behavior that has plagued you for years, and vow to reverse it. In fact, you can  think of two or three undesirable habits—make that four or five. Thus begins the litany of imperfections to be perfected commonly known as New Year’s Resolutions.

Our resolutions to change seldom work because they center on the type of person we regret being rather than on who it is that God is calling us to become. We need vision, not regret. Our list of resolutions also overwhelm our ability to focus.


My One Word replaces broken promises with a vision for real change. When you choose a single word, you have a clarity and focus. You are moving toward the future rather than swearing off the past. 

This approach isn't simplistic, it's holistic. The implications are huge--both wide and deep. Drawing together all these ideas--epiphany, hope, searching the horizon, following the good--I discovered my one word. What's keeping me "stuck in Persia" and not following the star, metaphorically speaking, a failure to look, to search the horizon and be captivated by the good I see there.

I've struggled for several years with having lots of ideas but getting distracted, dithering, losing momentum, losing interest, what have you. Too many starts and not enough finishes. And what's keeping me from finishing is not having my imagination captivated, the way the Magi were captivated by the prospect of meeting the great King who had come to Israel.

So my one word for 2016 is purpose. I need to stop following rabbit trails hither, thither, and yon and instead begin moving steadily toward a larger purpose. 

What about you? If you were to chose one focal word to fuel your vision for change, what would it be?

6 comments:

  1. Apparently my word should be "focus," since I can't seem to find one word to settle on. :) Actually, that IS a pretty good one...

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    1. On the One Word site, that appeared to be one of the most popular in 2016. I think distraction is a big hazard of our wired world at large, and for mom writers, the daily balancing act can make one feel scattered.

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  2. Purpose was my word a couple years ago. Focus is also a good word Faith. Mine might be Forgiveness; for all the attempts that fail. But I do keep struggling on :)

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    1. A powerful one, Donna. Letting go when someone has hurt us has a big cost, but in the end, we end up so much richer. Wishing you courage and faith in your journey!

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  3. My one word is strong/strength - I applied it to my smaller goals, and am trying to make it fit with everything. I like the approach you took to find your word, and it's a great word. :)

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    1. Great choice, Tyrean. We'll have to keep cheering each other on as the year progresses. To strength!

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