A Word to Define The Year By

Us: God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on the guest list?
God: “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth…”
– Psalm 15:1-2 (MSG)

I’ve always been a fan of New Year’s resolutions.

I find that so much of life—especially in the midst of immediate availability—is trumped by the urgent, often at the expense of the important. Over the years of being a pastor, I have realized that “the urgent” never ends. At the end of each day, there are church family members that have not been connected with, crises that have not been resolved, and tasks that have not been completed. In fact, in a church our size it’s simply impossible to deal with all the needs that the family of God brings to the table.

That’s why I need resolutions. Each year I try to pick a word that I want to live by, to help train my perspective and schedule so that I can remind myself to focus on what is important. I also pick 2 or 3 habits or goals that I would like to engage with in order to keep myself sharp and spiritually healthy. Can you keep a secret? My word for this year is: Daily.

What I like about Psalm 15 is how God’s response to us is a response of actions: Walk. Act. Tell. These are things we do on a daily basis. When I think of daily routines, I think of consistency. In a world of inconsistent values and loyalties, I want to re-focus my own priorities towards daily Christian activities that I find along the way of my walking, acting and telling. I want to work on my daily, consistent, Christian lifestyle. In order to separate the important from the urgent, I need to allow daily, consistent spiritual disciplines to have first place in my schedule. I need to block off times for prayer, for study, for family, for leisure, for friendship, so that I have the fortitude to deal with meetings, crises, surprises, conflicts, and strategies.

What about you? I encourage you to think of a word that will help define your actions this year. Pray about it. Chat with a friend about it. And adjust your priorities accordingly.