Sometimes you choose a word; sometimes a word chooses you. Several people I admire have announced a “one-word theme” for 2016. Words like strength, inspiration, courage. Yet I didn’t think I had a word for this year. Then it descended upon me like the dove that lands on my neighbor’s roof early each morning. Clarity. My word is clarity.
Now that I know my word, however, I have to admit that I’m not clear what it means or why it’s to be my word for the year! It’s possible it will take me all year to unpack it fully. Yet a few applications are evident.
I do want clarity in my work life. The last two books I’ve written, The Hope of Glory and Take My Hand Again, have received positive, heartfelt reviews from people who have read them. I know they could be encouraging many more people to navigate old age gracefully, or to help aging parents face the future with hope and optimism. And so I pray for clarity about how to reach more readers.
I want clarity in my relationships. At 68, I can no longer think of myself as middle-aged. I have yet to meet anyone 136. I want to look at the relationships that mean the most to me with renewed clarity and to never take a single one of them for granted. Have I told the people I love how much I love them? Have I clearly told my friends how much they have contributed to my life? Have I cleared up any misunderstandings and asked for forgiveness if necessary? If not, this is the year for such clarity.
I want clarity in my spiritual walk. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV). I know I won’t have perfect clarity about all things spiritual until I see the Lord face to face, but through prayer, studying the Word, and the fellowship of believers, I hope to wipe away a bit more of the fog this year. Psalm 119:105 has always been an encouraging verse for me. It reads: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” I trust that if I stay in this light I will clearly see where to place my foot next on my spiritual journey.
Where else will a focus on the word clarity take me this year? Clarity about what eating plan to follow or where to exercise? Time will tell. For now it’s written in capital letters on a sticky note stuck to the bookshelf above my computer. Clearly, it’s a start.
All the best to all of you as you seek to discern what the New Year has to offer. I’d love to hear your one-word theme if you have one. Happy 2016!