A couple of days ago I was visiting with a good friend of mine. We were sitting on her couch, talking about general life stuff and then, out of the blue, she asked, 'If you had to choose one word for 2018, what would it be?'
On one hand these kinds of 'new year's resolution' questions are silly because there is no way for any of us to look forward into what is completely unknown to us and pick a word. In fact, James even cautions, '...you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills we will live and do this or that.' So, I can definitely pick a word if I want to, but only God knows the number of days that have been assigned to my life and what each of them will hold.
On the other hand these kinds of questions are intriguing because they do cause us to stop and consider what the future may have in store and how we will respond. For me, I begin thinking about where I might be sitting twelve months from now and, when I look back at the year, will I have grown as a person? Will there be any sort of discernible pattern to what I experienced and how it challenged me or caused me to think; will I have changed?
I turned to my friend and smiled, 'I could more easily give you a word for 2017!', I said, and went on to explain how, looking back, I could see a pattern to what God had been teaching me. Various themes on the same lesson kept popping up over and over again. I told her I wouldn't be surprised if the same concept carried over into the new year because I didn't think I was quite done learning it yet.
'A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.' - Proverbs 16:9 (NET)