Come the month of November, I begin to wonder if there will be a One Word for the new year. As I start to pay close attention, a thought, theme, Scripture, or word repeatedly grabs my attention.
“Faith” was the word of the year in 2014 as one in our family heard a health diagnosis: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV).
Faith led to “Believe” in 2015, as treatments were necessary: “Hearing this, JesusÂ said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed” (Luke 8:50, NIV).
2016 brought the word “See”: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8, NLT).
In 2017, a desire to live without limiting myself to my known abilities brought the word “Audacious”: “I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in”
(Ephesians 3:16-17a, MSG).
A longing for God to be the center of my attention each day brought the word “Focus” in 2018: “But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us” (Philippians 3:13b-14, NLT).
And this past year, 2019, the word was “Fruit”: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT).
As Thanksgiving rolled into the Advent season, I began to wonder if this would be the year there would be no word.
Advent – the time of slowing down, quieting oneself and waiting for the Lord and upon the Lord. As December passed, one day at a time, I listened to Little Drummer Boy – often.
The little boy who came to honor Christ, thinking he had no gift, so he came with what he had – his little drum – and played to honor Him.
Each time I listened to the song, I knew the Lord was stirring something in my heart. But it took a few more days for it to unfold.
My bookshelf sits full of books, the spines facing so the titles can be read. One word kept grabbing my attention because the calligraphy was beautiful. But I kept pushing it aside, even while taking notice and realizing this was to be my One Word 2020.
Savor has been defined (by dictionary.com) asÂ –
- the quality that affects the sense of taste or smell
- to exhibit the peculiar characteristics
- to give a taste or smell
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?”
(Matthew 5:13, NLT)
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
(Ephesians 5:2, NLT)
The word on the spine of the book kept drawing my eyes and my thoughts. One still and yet dark morning, I reached for the book to see what it would speak into my heart. It was in reading the intro, the Lord began making plain and clear my word.
“This collection [of devotional thoughts] is my attempt at paying attention, at clearing away space and noise, and inviting you to hear the drumbeat, too. God’s always speaking, always. He’s always moving, always present, always creating, always healing. The trick, at least for me, is paying attention. The trick is savoring.”
(from Savor by Shauna Niequist)
Upon reading those words, God began to tie the threads He had been weaving together all month – The Little Drummer Boy;Â the quiet and stillness of the Advent season; and the word on the spine of the book.
God calls us to spend time with Him, to savor Him so that our lives are affected by His peculiar characteristics, absorbing His aroma. It is only as we do, we are able to maintain our saltiness and live in such a way for others to see Christ in us.
I want to savor His Word and the beauty He places around me. I need to savor the good and fun things as well as the difficult and painful, for God is in it all.
One Word 2020.
I want to savor each day and the gifts each day holds.