For me, a New Year means a new chance to improve or change or even just start anew on some task or habit. This past week as I was reading I came across two different blogs where the writers' use one word to describe their goal for the year. For Ann, this year is a year of HERE and for Joy, it is the year of WORSHIP. I like the idea of summing up the year in one word. So I contemplated what would be a word I could use to describe the upcoming year. I was really tempted to just adopt Worship or Here as my word. I could use a little more worship and probably a lot more of being all here. I thought back on the last year and how I wish I had engaged more with other people. How I needed my days to be more about people than things that needed to be done. How my classes needed to be more about my students than the subject. Lastly how my time with my children needed to be filled with love and joy as much as work that needed to be done. I thought about the words-connect, engage and relationships but I decided that this would be the Year of Discipleship.
Why the year of discipleship? I want to really invest in the people around me. Jesus spent three years investing in 12 men. I am not Jesus but I have Jesus in me and God has given me people to invest in. God has given me W and Big D to disciple as my children. God has given me students who I can help educationally and offer words of hope to. God has given me local people who I interact with weekly and with who I am hoping to plant seeds of faith.
What will the year look like? Only God knows that but here is what I would like to be a part of the year. So the first thing is to try to read through the bible this year. Only by being in the word, can I know the word. I am getting a slow start but I feel like reading the bible all the way through is something I should do this year. Last year I prayed a lot for the country where we live, but this year I would like to pray more specifically for the people I interact with here by name. In terms of relationships, I not only need to make time for others but need to be intentional in my conversations. This also means that continuing to learn the language is a priority because at this point my conversations in the local language are still very limited. Mostly my prayer is that this year will be a year where God uses me to impact those around me.
Dear God, Thank you for new beginning. Forgive me for my failings and when I fall short. Help me to sit at your feet and learn. May I be diligent in my prayers for others. May I be intentional with my interactions with those around me. May I be outward focused instead of inwardly focused. May your Spirit live in me and guide me. Only in Your Son, Amen