We've all done it. Made lists of our New Year's resolutions. And year after year, we not only fail to achieve those goals, we forget what they were in the first place. Two years ago, my sister introduced me to a life changing concept. Her pastor, Mike Ashcraft of Port City Community Church, did a series called One Word. Because a long list of resolutions is so daunting and we don't really believe that we're going to be successful...it's pointless. So maybe we don't even try any more. But what if we took a different approach? We can't do everything...but maybe we can do one thing. One word.
Mike challenged the congregation to choose one word to focus on for the coming year. Just one word. Surely we can remember one word. And focus on making that word a part of you. Build on it all year so that by year's end it is ingrained in your character. That first year, Mike's word was finish. He had lots of half-read books on his desk, lots of unfinished projects at home...lots of beginnings with no ends, so he wanted to focus on finishing. He even suggested creating opportunities to practice your word. For example, if your word is patience, then purposely get in the longest line at the store. Focus on your word.
After a couple of weeks that first year, Mike told a story of a woman who came to him and said that her husband wouldn't reveal his word. "Pastor," she said, "tell him he should tell me his word." Mike wisely replied, "Let me think about that." His conclusion was this...wouldn't it be incredible if by the end of the year, your word became such a part of you that your spouse knew what it was without you having to say it?
So this is my challenge to you. Choose one word to focus on for the year. Be creative. Pray over it. Ask God to reveal that thing he especially wants to develop in you this year. And then look for opportunities. Be mindful. I've done this for two years now and it's really been incredible. If you did this last year, reflect on how you've done. Has the Lord done a work in you? Have you been changed?
In my next post, I'm going to share my word for 2009. If you decide to join the challenge, please share your word in the comments. Maybe it will help spur some ideas in others. And get ready for an incredible year of change. Remember, you can't do it all...but you can do one thing.