For several years, Marie has chosen one word to be her word of the year. I love the idea. I love words. Why have I not done this before?
My word came to me so quickly, so decisively. I have been thinking about it for days but have hesitated to share it. It seems, um, a little bit hokey.
Here goes: INSPIRE.
I long to be inspired: by God, by my family and friends, by my church, by the things I read and see and eat and learn.
And I hope, in turn, to inspire.
On a recent Sunday, after I had preached during worship, a man pulled me aside to thank me for the sermon. In the course of the conversation, he told me that I inspire him. It was a lovely thing to hear, but also a humbling thing to hear. I am more aware than ever that my sermons are not my own. Not in the plagiarism way - I don't go there, believe me - in the inspiration way. I can only inspire if I have been inspired. And I do believe that the ground of inspiration is the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, this word is about openness. It's about a willingness to be patient, to wait for the right moment, to have courage, to trust.