I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions several years ago. It’s a good idea, but it falls short for me as a way to envision the coming year. I do set some goals though, and this year I’m going to give Donald Miller’s “Story” idea some careful consideration (thanks for the tweet, Terry!) But the most compelling idea for me in recent years has been choosing a word for the year. That’s it – just one word that I want to listen for and learn from throughout the coming year. One word in which to anchor my prayers and goals. In the past years, some of my words have been “believe,” “listen,” “obey,” and “purpose.”
This year’s word popped onto my radar weeks ago. I was reviewing my journals from the past few years, which I usually title with my word, so I guess you could say I was already listening for it. It kind of surprised me actually. It’s not one of those churchy words, and definitely not a part of my everyday vocabulary. And the multiple definitions and usages of this word kind of threw me at first and I had to clarify for myself which meaning and usage I was drawn towards.
So anyways, my word for 2010 is “Abandon.” See what I mean about the usage thing? Don’t worry – I’m not planning to run away, and I’m not looking for ways to abdicate any of my responsibilities. In fact, it’s not the verb usage but rather the noun definition that I’ve latched onto:
a complete surrender to natural impulses without restraint or moderation; freedom from inhibition or conventionality: to dance with reckless abandon. (www.dictionary.com)
I love the idea of dancing as an image of life. It implies an invitation and a response. What would it look like for me in this coming year to dance with reckless abandon? To give myself over completely to the music God is piping into my heart and dance freely, without any inhibition? To push past some of my natural reserve and step into the adventures God is inviting me to? Yes, already this word is growing on me, and I’m excited to see how it plays out through the coming year.
If you have a word for your year, I’d love to hear about it. And if you don’t, or perhaps you find yourself struggling with goals and resolutions for the coming year, I’d challenge you to consider listening for a word to live into this year and come back and share.