This time last year, my friend Alece was kicking off the new year with an idea called One Word 2011 on her blog. The concept was simple: instead of a resolution, choose a word, “one word”, that you would strive to center your thoughts and actions around for the next 12 months. Though I had never done this before, I loved the idea and dove in head-first.
My word was “engage”. I can’t say I knew exactly what it would look like, it is just what seemed to be jumping out at me. So, ‘engage’ it was and off into 2011 I went.
Looking back, I can see how, sometimes intentionally, others unintentionally, the essence of the word ‘engage’ was consistently at the core of many areas of my life throughout 2011.
Changes, opportunities and growth in areas personal, spiritual, relational and professional were scattered all throughout the last 12 months of my life, almost as if on purpose, waiting to be stumbled upon as I made a series of intentional choices to be active rather than passive, proactive rather than reactive and passionate rather than apathetic.
Personally, I experienced what it looked like to rally others around a cause or mission, invested time and belief to help move others toward new stages of growth in their lives and faced personal barriers of fear that I was tired of compromising with. One of my favorite ‘engage’ stories is how I saw God bring a significant part of my story full circle through the Joplin tornado in May of last year.
Spiritually, in what would seem like somewhat of an oxymoron, I’m learning the importance of the pursuit of rest, and how it is just as “spiritual” as any other spiritual discipline.
Relationally, I’ve had the opportunity to actively engage and lead a broad range of people through Stretch, a young adult community at Cross Point Church, fostering an environment for us to connect and develop community, serve the needs of our community and challenge one another to live our faith in unique and practical ways. Concurrently but separately, I actively invested in friendships with a small group of guys whom I have grown very close to as we have breakfast each week and do life with one another. On different levels, both of these are very important to me and an integral part of my own personal growth and development.
Professionally, its been such an honor to be part of the Cross Point staff, working to recruit, train and empower volunteer leaders as well as develop creative programming that invests in the spiritual growth and development of the children and families of our church. It has not been without its challenges, but nothing of significance ever is.
These were all things I stepped into 2011 with a hope to see happen, at least conceptually, and they did. It was often a two-steps-forward-one-step-back journey, but every challenge I encountered was accompanied by an invitation to see obstacles or opportunities. I chose the latter.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on [ENGAGE] to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [Philippians 3:8-12]
How did your One Word shape your 2011?