God declared to Noah and to us –
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” – Genesis 8:22
I am not someone who makes New Year’s resolutions anymore. One of the biggest reasons I stopped making New Year’s resolutions is that they often seem so negative – so incredibly mean spirited. All too often it is like New Year’s resolutions are just another reason to beat ourselves up and tear ourselves down. I simply don’t want to start off the New Year kicking myself for yet another list of wretched failings or shortcomings. I got enough of that when I was a kid – thank you very much. And frankly – we ALL get more than enough of that just by being alive in this world in which we dwell each and every single day of our earthly lives.
But I do like having a focus for each year. I do enjoy having a positive intention for my year.
So for quite a few years now I have chosen a word to be my focus for the year. Some years the word comes to me easily. Other years finding my word takes time. Some years finding my word takes a lot of time. This year was one of those slow years. This year I tried out word after word and none of the words I tried seemed like a good fit. If a word is going to be my focus for an entire year – it needs to be a good fit. And then – in the middle of January while Jason and I were out for our lunchtime jaunt through our neighborhood – we hit upon my word for the year. It was perfectly – perfect. I knew as soon as I started rolling it around in my mind that I had found my word for 2021.
Explore. My word for 2021 shall be explore. Explore is perfect.
Explore is a good fit – because it will challenge me. Challenges are good. I like challenges (most of the time). Challenges keep us from getting lazy and stuck in a rut. Challenges can encourage us to see ourselves and God’s world in new ways. We can all use that from time to time – can’t we?
Exploring will encourage me to try new things. This will be good too. I have noticed that in the midst of Covid-19 – I have been seeking the comfort of the familiar over and over again. I have been re-reading favorite books and re-knitting favorite patterns. And while there is nothing wrong with this – exploring new things/different things might be interesting too.
Explore. Explore will be an excellent focus for 2021.
Explore has already proven to be an interesting focus for my year. I have been much more intentional about getting out into God’s creation – even in the chilly/downright cold days of January. I have been hibernating just a bit less this winter.
I have been trying to see the world from a different perspective. I have been wandering aimlessly and ambling more.
I have been heading outside just to see what I might discover. I have been exploring and delighting and giving thanks for what I discover.
I have been looking and listening. I have been wandering and wondering.
Sometimes I explore alone and sometimes I explore with my favorite exploring companions.
This morning I did some exploring all by myself. I was dazzled by the beauty of the freshly fallen snow.
I listened. The snow made the world just a bit quieter. There was a gentle hush over our neighborhood. I listened to my boots crunch through the ice as I walked. I listened to the wind whistling through my hat!
I watched the snow make the world around me sparkle and glitter. I marveled at how different our world looked under a blanket of freshly fallen snow.
Exploring. It is good for the world weary soul (or at least for my would weary soul).
Perhaps exploring isn’t for you. But how do you seek God’s presence? How do you try to rest and regroup? What do you do when your soul is feeling world weary?
You are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.
In Christ and with Love –
“The day is yours, and yours also the night;
you established the sun and moon.
It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.”
– Psalm 74:16-17