Happy New Year! Can you believe it's 2013?! I mean, for this '80s baby, I am still in a little shock when I think that we are living in the 21st century and it is just completely unimaginable that we've been here for a little over 12 years now! Wow! Remember Y2K? Weren't we all supposed to die because our computers weren't smart enough to roll over to 1/1/2000? How funny to look back at all that chaos and to think, "for what"?
But it is true, we are here. In the 21st century. Still being clearly outsmarted by computers. And still making resolution after resolution with each new year that arrives. But all of that changed for me last year when I changed my name to Oxymoron and resolved to not make any more resolutions.
Instead I decided to jump on board with the "one word movement". Well, not with the official "OneWord" movement. I just googled that and I am not too sure what that is all about, so I am in no way endorsing (nor linking up to) that specific movement, just to be clear. But generally speaking I jumped on the bandwagon with other folks who decided to choose a word, one word, to meditate on throughout the year. A word that they reflect on periodically throughout the year and try to filter day to day situations through a lens that has this one word at the forefront. Trying to see the world in a different way, or to experience life to its fullest by thinking on what this word means to them personally and generally.
Last year I chose the word discernment. I had many big decisions on my plate to make and lots of stuff going on in many areas of my life and the word was just perfect for my "one word". Did I think about the word every single day? No. But making a big deal about choosing a word for the year sure kept it in the back of my mind and there were many times, particularly while I was driving that I would think on things going on in my life or decisions at hand and the word discernment would come to mind and I would be reminded not make a decision based on how I felt at the moment, but to pray, seek the Scriptures, and to discern what God's Will was for that specific situation in my life.
For me, choosing a word proved to be a great alternative to choosing a new year's resolution. Did I make some decisions throughout the year that were not wise and were fruits of little discernment? Of course. But the great thing about choosing a "word" over choosing a "resolution" is that when I look back at the year in review, I am able to see times where I did make wiser choices because I spent so much time this year thinking on the word "discernment" that when a decision needed to be made, I was quickly reminded to use Biblical discernment beforehand. That's a success in my book. Rarely, if ever, have I made a "resolution" that I actually stuck with.
This year I have chosen the word still. I was really leaning towards faith or joy as my "word" for the year as we have learned a great deal about both in 2012 so I was thinking it would only be appropriate as our "theme word" for 2013. However, while pondering the thought of which word to choose, I came across the story of the Israelites fleeing from captivity while Pharoah's army was ordered to go get them and bring them back into captivity. Then I read Exodus 14:14 and it was my light bulb moment. "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."
I do a lot of fighting. I would never call it fighting. I might call it being proactive, planning, striving, defending, preparing, doing good deeds, or being a good mommy/wife/neighbor/example. Most of the time my fighting lands me in situations far more desperate than where I was originally, so this verse hit me like a ton of bricks: the same God who rescued me from the pits of slavery is still in control. And if I would just take the time to quit planning and just be still, he will get me through.
Due to varying translations, it is hard to get an exact count as to how many times the Bible contains references for believers to "Be still". But as my pastor said in a sermon recently, "How many times must the Bible command us to do something before we obey?"
So for me, still will be my word and Exodus 14:14 will be my verse for 2013 as I strive to grow closer in my relationship with my Savior. There I go striving again.
Lord, teach me to be still!