Write thy blessed name, o Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly engraved, that no prosperity, no adversity shall ever move me from thy love. Be thou to me a strong tower of defense, a comforter in tribulation, a deliverer in distress, a very present help and a guide to heaven through the many temptations and dangers of this life.
— Thomas a Kempis
What will I “keep in my pocket” this year?
Reflecting on the past year, I discovered some patterns – some good, some not so much. I have had to face that
I am can be a negative, scattered, and discontented person. (Ouch.) This is no surprise to those who truly know me. I’m a pessimist. A Cynic. An agnostic by nature?
I prefer the term realist because I know that on one level I will never forget. I believe I will always be a person that sees injustice and screams, an advocate against bigotry and discrimination. And I will always speak and work for a more just world. And yes, sadly I can be a whiner, pessimistic and well, I’ll go ahead and name it: I can be a downer!
Many times this year I have been so caught in my own brokenness — to a degree that I could no longer make out God’s voice in the cacophony of my injuries and the world’s throbbing sorrows. And tragically then one ceases being useful.
And God is speaking. He never ceases to speak.
And it is intoxicating and magnificent. Humankind cannot even imagine the kingdom of God here on earth, the way he wants it. Even this year, God as has been healing me, I cannot conjure up what he intends. Most days I struggle just to believe. Amid his miraculous work, I only limit God by fixating on all my limitations.
And I know that others, perhaps you, certainly members of my own family, have difficulty trusting me, when I am so frequently scattered and shattered; when I don’t even trust myself.
I want to learn to trust in God, more. And I want to become trustworthy.
For 2012, I will focus on Abundance. (as well as: Peace. Cease. Create.)
I believe this will come through discipline…
The discipline of giving thanks, of daily prayer and learning the WORD of God for myself.
I long for Peace. I believe this will come in focusing on these things.
Being mindful. Being strong. Being a healer. Being trustworthy. Being healthy.
Some things need to Cease.
Less weight (as in actual poundage).
Less (focus on my) pain.
I was made to Create. I will do that through being purposeful …
Words. Images. Life.
How did I get this list?
I was helped in thinking this through, by something a friend wrote when I asked about the process of finding three words, with intentionality, for the coming year. It took some time for me to sort this out for myself.
“the month of dec i spend a lot of time reflecting on the year passing by. it ends up beckoning the hopes for the coming year. i start making lists of words that feel representative of my intentions for the time coming. … the words end up weaving in and out of the decisions i make, the way i take notice. they really impact the dailies. and since that is the marrow of our living- this daily bit- i love having them in my pocket. “
I love that. “Having them in my pocket” whether it is literally or not, it’s a beautiful metaphor.
Really, what do any of us have but today—yes, this one day. We are promised nothing more. We are given this one life and with it we can be scattered and flighty, erratic, untrustworthy, as I have been; or we can become intentional and resolute and positive, as I long to be.
How are you, as you head into 2012? What things will you keep in your pocket? How will you face today?