During my prayer and Bible study time for the month of December, I seek out the word that will be my focus for the new year. Sometimes the same word jumps out at me over and over again as I go through my day. Other times, the repetition of one word leads me to another word before the whispered voice of the Holy Spirit confirms this is it. My word.
To have a special word to guide me through the year – a word handpicked for me by my Creator – sounds so lovely and spiritual, right? But what if the word that keeps cropping up isn’t one that I want?
That’s where I was just before Christmas. Not liking the word.
For several years now my words have been comfortable. Themes to lean on and rest in. Words like Hope and Trust.
This year, my quest started with the word ‘stewardship’ popping in and out of my world. I kept rejecting it, hoping it wasn’t the word and not wanting to consider where the Holy Spirit could be guiding me with that word.
I argued with the Holy Spirit. “Show me the word You really have for me. Stewardship is a word that requires work, you know. And stewardship of what? Money? My health? Spiritual gifts? Relationships? Don’t you know how busy I am? I’m working two part-time jobs outside the house (which equals more hours than one full time job) and I have my writing. And Old Roady and Son like to eat and wear clean clothes. Add in elderly parents and church duties and… and… . Hellooo! Stewardship? Really? I don’t have the TIME!”
Ouch! The conviction pierced my thick-headed hard-hearted shell. Stewardship of my time. Being intentional with my time. Because this is where my year will be defined. The use of my time, the same 24 hours God gives every one of us, will determine if I accomplish what God has set out for me to do in 2013.
The argument is over and prayer has begun in earnest. Because the only way the work – on my interior world as well as the exterior – will be done and fruitful is with constant communion with the Holy Spirit.
And in that amazing way that God works, old articles and past sermons and passing comments from others are hitting the mark and guiding me now that my heart and mind are open to the word I’ve been given – Time. I can’t hold it, or see it, or stop it, or recycle it. Even as I’m sitting here writing, it is passing, never to be reclaimed or relived.
Being a good steward of my Time – that is my challenge, my theme, and my word.