Happy New Year everyone!
Like many of you, I try to find a word or phrase to be the theme of the year.
As some of you know, I also try to pick one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit which is referenced in the New Testament:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
That’s a great list and I’ll share which one I’ve chosen later on, perhaps. As for today, I wanted to share my word for 2023. It’s a simple but powerful one. It’s short too, one less letter than FOR.
My word for 2023 is simply: Be.
It’s sort of an odd word to select, I guess. In fact, it’s hard to find a good definition of the word. Look it up and you’ll see what I mean.
But here’s why I feel led to this word in 2023. Like many of you, I can spend a lot of time thinking and planning for the future. Vision-casting and the future are places where I feel at home. Vision is helping people see what you see even though there’s nothing yet to see. I love the future and building something that doesn’t yet exist.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that living too much in the future can rob you of what’s happening in the present.
The same is true of the past. Sometimes, the past is so appealing we can get stuck there. Other times, the past is so hurtful we can get stuck there.
Anyone else been there?
As a result, I can find myself bouncing back and forth between the past and the future. The danger in this is I can miss out on the beauty and promise of the present. Thus, the word “Be for me in 2023.” (Come on, that rhymes!)
Practically speaking what does “Be” look like?
Here are some examples.
* Reducing time on my phone especially at home.
* I came across this idea a while back —> If the answer to a future opportunity or invitation isn’t a “Heck yes!” then it’s a no. They used a different word for Heck but I’m a retired pastor so I changed it.
* A no-phone zone at dinner. (Technology seems to be a theme here.)
* Spending more time outside. No, this doesn’t mean camping. My idea of camping is Hampton Inn. This means more walks, more sitting outside, more looking up.
* Asking the Lord, “Is there something You want me to experience in this current moment?”
* Less worrying about the future and more enjoyment of today.
Jesus said it this way, “Let tomorrow worry about itself.” This wasn’t a plea to be irresponsible. Instead, it’s encouragement to not let the future rob you of the moment you have right now.
So, it’s Be for me in 2023.
How about you?
What’s your word for the year? Feel free to respond to this email and let me know. And if you like Be, feel free to use it as well. Or, if you’re looking for another word, try FOR for 2023. Who can you be FOR in the year ahead? If you need some practical advice on this, click the link below to buy my book, Know What You’re FOR.
Happy New Year, everyone!