Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My One Word for 2014 - FOLLOW

2013 was the first year I chose a word to concentrate on. My word was SEASON, which I explained here. Looking back, I don't feel like I've gotten all that I could have out of that word. I was tempted to take it for a rerun, but I felt like I needed something fresh.

My first idea of a word was COMMUNE - "to be in a state of intimate, heightened sensitivity and receptivity as with one's surroundings; to talk or converse intimately."

But then last month I read a great book, "Sacred Pathways" by Gary Thomas (which I highly recommend, by the way). In it, he described one form of contemplative prayer as a ballroom dance where God is the leader and we are the follower. I really liked that word picture. It seemed to convey what I was trying to capture with COMMUNE in a more meaningful way for me.

Then I googled "follow + dance" and found so much more richness for this spiritual metaphor. Turns out that FOLLOW can be considered a noun, not just a verb. I am the FOLLOW and God is the LEAD. Here are some neat concepts ~

"When the LEAD wants to bring the FOLLOW close, he applies tension."

"Backleading in when a FOLLOW is executing steps without waiting for, or contrary to, or interfering with the LEAD's lead."

While there are many scriptures with the word follow, like "FOLLOW me and I'll make you fishers of men," and "Take up your cross and FOLLOW me," they don't really convey what I mean by my word. So I don't really have a verse - at least not yet.

I'm hoping this year to really concentrate on an intimate walk with Jesus where I am in constant touch with his leading (think dancing in the closed position vs. open position). I'm hoping also to become less passive/aggressive and controlling in my human relationships. But, most of all, in keeping with the concept of FOLLOW, I'm going to let God show me what He wants me to learn through this word. I feel like one neat thing about the one word concept is that God can teach you through any word you choose.

I am so glad that my Sunday school class and my extended family are all doing ONE WORD this year. I look forward to praying for them about their growth and having mutual encouragement. I invite you to ask me how it's going with FOLLOW.

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