Thursday, July 25, 2013

Word of the year: Do

At the beginning of this year a number of people in our church selected a 'word of the year' for themselves. The word was to be something to focus on and act upon, and at the end of the year assess how they did.

My word was do.

Do.  Not "think about it", "talk about it", "dream about it", "plan it". Do.
Giving up the over-thinking, talking, dreaming, planning cycle I had gotten into for a few years, do seemed a little bold to me. What if there were things I couldn't do? Or turned out to be a bad idea?  Or I had to do something I didn't like? Despite my concerns, I felt compelled that do was the word.

Do boils down to obedience because I know full well there are plenty of things I should not do or just don't want to do. Was I going to practice discernment to weed out the dreams that were futile or meant for someone else? To put aside the many things I do selfishly? Open my heart and mind to being lead by something bigger than me? Would I relinquish the control of my ambitions and my plans and to trust in Jeremiah 29:11-13?

Do, then. Seek with all my heart and trust that the plans of the Lord are far greater than mine, even when I don't see that.

If I look at the trip from the point of view of "great plans", for some people God's plan might not seem better than my usual July plans. For the past few years, our week off work looked like this: Beach. Fun. Great food. Lazy days. No work. Reading time. Sleeping late. A glass of wine on the porch in a rocking chair. Amusement park. Sand and the ocean. Sounds like a great plan for a week long trip, right?

God's plan for 2013's week off work: Get no sleep for 36 hours. Get up at 6:30am every day. Take icy showers, if and when the water is on. Stay on your feet all day and get swollen ankles. Don't leave the secure compound. Withstand spiritual attack. Share bunks with 8 others. Stay up through the night to pray for the sick ones. Experience the beautiful smiles of strangers. Their hope in you. Hugs, because your smile brightened their day. Tears, because your heart broke for what breaks His. Joy, because you followed a nudge to overcome shyness, to speak to a stranger and listen to their heart. Because you gave a little girl a goodnight hug when she has no mama to do it. To have your own teenager ask, Can we do this again next year instead of the beach?

Several people have written to me recently saying they have been inspired by my family for taking this trip. I think it's great that they are inspired, but I cannot take the credit. We were simply being obedient. We had hopes for our trip, and we got so many blessings and rewards that I am still counting them. It doesn't feel selfless or generous when we surely received more from it than we put into it.  

Do has been my word this year and so far it's working out well for me.

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