speak

Posted: January 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

A number of my friends have an annual practice of choosing a word to be the “theme” for their year.  I have always found it to be a really cool idea, but have never felt particularly prone to follow their example.  Why?  I’m not sure, but I suspect it’s because it’s ONE WORD.  If you’ve been around long, you know I tend more toward LOTS of words.

For 2014, our pastors challenged the leadership team to each prayerfully choose a word-theme for themselves.  I’m not on the leadership team, but heard about it from friends who are.  They were excited, sincere.  They had words in mind.  They were exploring the question of how to proceed, having chosen a word. 

A day or two later, our friends were curious.  “So, what is YOUR word for 2014?”  I grinned and pointed out that we are not leadership.  I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to participate in this particular challenge.  This is the stubborn part of me that strongly prefers not to do the “expected” thing – that always wants to decide independently.  To be honest, I hardly thought about it at all, after that conversation.  I don’t think I was going to go there. 

But then this morning before church, I was talking about it with our pastor, when I suddenly realized:  I ALREADY KNOW MY WORD FOR 2014.  Strange, since I have expended pretty much zero effort in praying, pondering, etc. on this point.  In an instant, everything clicked and I realized that He’s been showing me, telling me, sending people to speak it into my life. 

The word:  SPEAK.

Friends have brought me this one.  Coworkers.  Family.  I have heard it resonating in my readings.  In prayer, it has popped up time after time. 

It takes that much encouragement.  Despite my wordiness on the written page, in person my default is much more “quiet” or even “silent.”  I’d really rather find a corner or a spot at the back of a room and:  watch.  Listen.  Pray.  Learn.  Stick with that old adage, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” 

I definitely have needed this long season of “shut up and listen.”  I have been learning, growing, changing.  I have discovered how often my strongly-held opinions were just flat WRONG, which is a strong incentive toward remaining humble with my opinions – willing to consider that my answer is not the only/final one.  But apparently it is time for me to take what I’ve been picking up amongst all the silence and use it.

Apparently 2014 is my year to SPEAK. 

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