Monday, January 2, 2012

One Word for 2012 : : ABIDE

For the last couple of years I’ve chosen one word to focus on for the coming year instead of resolutions.  I’m a big goal setter, so resolutions come and go in my life…sometimes on a daily basis.  But taking one word to meditate upon, grow in, and discover has an intentionality that suits me right now.

I’ve been praying for the last few days about what word the Lord has for me to focus upon for 2012…and my mind has swayed from A to Z.  But when I get really quiet and let my heart listen to His voice one word becomes clear:


I have to be honest, the word abide scares me a bit.  It seems almost like a description for the super spiritual, like a Mother Teresa or Mary at the feet of Jesus.  And those who know me best will readily admit I’m much more of a Martha or Army general.

It scares me because at the core of who I am – this is what I long for – an ability to shut off my to-do lists and agendas – a serenity and yet also strength that resonates from simply being with Him.  And it scares me because it seems so opposite from what I naturally gravitate towards.  

I am, after all, a master goal setter – I accomplish life with gusto.

Run a marathon – I’ve done it.
Graduate from seminary – check.
Learn to take great pictures – working on it.
And on and on it goes…

But I want more.  

I want more than an impressive resume – I want substance and joy and beauty and Him.  I want to continue seeing fruit from my life, but I want to know that it’s His fruit and not something I’m creating that is nothing more than a waxy substitute that just looks pretty.

So ABIDE it is.

2012 will be a year in which I try to discover what it really means to abide in Him & He in me.  I’m prepared for the uncomfortable, the silence, the listening, and the unexpected.  Honestly, I don’t really know what I’m expecting, but I trust Him…and isn’t that – trust – the beginning of abiding?

John 15:4-9
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 
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