For the past couple of years, I have chosen one word to be the year’s theme. As the days proceed, my word reminds me of my desired focus. In a simple way, it acts like a compass setting to which I return when distractions overtake my intentions.
Last year, my word was Courage. It was a bold reminder as I stepped into the occasionally intrepid waters of new ministry opportunities, conflict in friendships, and challenging writing goals.
This year, I choose Endurance.
According to Dictionary.com, the definition for endurance is “the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions.”
As I look toward 2015, I see change on the horizon:
two children in college,
launch of my discipleship ministry (Soul Motive),
house repair needs,
yard stuff (we really need to add grass to the mudpit of our backyard),
need to reduce cholesterol,
and pressing denominational concerns in our church.
Among it all, I want to be faithful to the Lord. I need to persevere in relationships, ministry calling, and health … no matter what the day brings!
The writer of Hebrews holds the key for me…
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
This verse highlights three guidelines for endurance:
1) Don’t do it alone. We all need a cloud of witnesses. We need people in our lives to encourage us and to keep us accountable. I will listen more intently to my family and friends as 2015 presses on. I am especially grateful for the sisterhood of the Redbud Writers Guild. Their honest insights and prompts challenge me daily in my writing goals and my faith walk.
2) Be realistic. To persevere, I need to be aware of all that hinders pushing forward. What are the weights and sins that entangle me and prevent me from pressing on? Sometimes it’s financial resources, sometimes it’s my own emotions, sometimes it’s unresolved relationship issues. Journaling, prayer, and my cloud of witnesses will guide me as I seek to understand the obstacles in my path.
3) Have a plan. There is a race set out before me. It is not random. Trends, common threads, gifts, talents, needs, and Holy Spirit promptings, illuminate the race markers. I will assess decisions in light of the overall directions that I sense the Lord is directing me. This is BIG for me because I tend to be a people-pleaser. I also re-commit to time chunking and better use of my time.
Endurance is necessary for our faith journey. It’s not glamorous. It’s quite boring, actually. It’s the day to day ordinary choices that incrementally carry us along the path of discipleship into spiritual growth.
I need endurance for 2015.
Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory. ~William Barclay
Do you have a word for 2015?