Having a purpose for going from 2020 to 2021 is the pressing challenge for all of us. We want the passing year to pass and the New Year to be brand spanking new. It doesn’t happen by simply wishing it, and a lot of people are too tired to make 2021 the best year ever, let alone, better. We want it better, but how can that it be if we don’t have a purpose?
There aren’t any easy solutions to make 2021 better, but I believe that we can take responsibility for choosing the direction we go in. If you’re tired of setting goals or establishing resolutions for a New Year, choosing ONE word for the year is an excellent alternative for finding purpose. I’ve chosen ONE word for several years now. It’s a way of establishing a purpose, motivation, or inspiration for the next 365 days. What do I mean?
In 2020 my one word was CURIOSITY. I determined to investigate questions that I had or people posed to me. Thank God for my smart phone that allowed me to google many questions on the spot. Curiosity introduced me to many answers to questions. It helped create the habit of fact checking, learn about actors in the movies I’ve watched during the pandemic, broaden my understanding of historical events, or educate myself on an assortment of subjects.
During this Christmas season I chose to read Luke chapter 2 in the New Testament in an attempt to keep the reason for the season the main reason in my life. Each day for several days I read a portion of the chapter. I told my wife this morning before she left for work that I had been thinking about finding my ONE word for 2021. I read Luke 2:39-40: “When all the things according to the Law were completed, they returned to Galilee to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew and was strengthened being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” Joseph, Mary, along with their son Jesus, returned to their hometown. My attention zeroed in on the verb ‘grew.’ It’s assumed and expected that children, youths and young adults will grow. My curiosity raised a question. I asked myself, are adults expected to grow? How would you answer that question?
I remembered an ancient admonition: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18). This admonition was addressed to adult listeners of the letter. The author wanted and expected his audience to grow. This follows the earlier admonition in the letter to add to their faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly love, and love (1:5-8). Yes, it was, and is expected, that adult followers of Jesus will grow. I chose GROW for my one word in 2021.
Growth can take place in at least six areas of our lives. They are mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. In the days to come I will flesh out ways that I want to GROW in these six areas. This fall I joined Word Weavers International to develop my writing skills. I’ve attended one Zoom meeting in 2020 as a member. I’ve started growing mentally a month early! I’m excited about the mental growth I’ll experience in 2021.
Growth in the natural realm passes through phases or seasons. Jesus was an infant, toddler, boy, young man (at thirteen years of age a boy becomes a man in Judaism), and adulthood. I would add retirement. I’m retired from corporate chaplaincy, but have learned to cashier at a local grocery store and to be a Wellness Screener at the local hospital during the pandemic. My one word GROW will inspire me in 2021 to become a better me, to face the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, to adapt in a changing world, and become more Christ-like.
I believe you can be excited, motivated, and inspired in 2021 by choosing ONE word for yourself. If you’re tired of setting goals or making resolutions, then, I suggest you try the alternative of choosing one word for 2021 to clarify your purpose. Check out Jon Gordon’s website (www.jongordon.com) and the book One Word That Will Change Your Life that he coauthored with Jimmy Page and Dan Britton. You can also google ‘One Word’ to find other resources. Contact me if you would like to connect and talk about choosing one word for 2021. Keeping the reason for the season the main reason helped me find my one word for 2021. I have a purpose. May you grow, be strengthened with wisdom, and experience the favor of God with your purpose in 2021.