Before the year turns, it’s become my habit to pray for one word that will be my focus word, my direction, a word that I need personally and professionally, a word that I plaster, tape, and stick anywhere I may need a reminder. (Bathroom mirror, kitchen cabinet, writing desk, car dashboard, you get the idea.)
This word will be my cheerleader, my accountability, my kick in the pants. It’s a word I need to take hold of and make my own and allow it to grow me. It’s a word that may not be completely comfortable or true for me yet, but I get friendly, wrap my arms around it, and make it mine.
This year my word is CREATE.
When I was growing up, my father raised horses and it was a personal adventure to have my own horse, to learn its ways, personality, stubborn streaks, and come to be able to ride it anywhere, through anything with control. To develop a relationship with a horse was exactly that – we became a team and while I was the rider, my horse was very much a participant with its own attitudes on any given day. I rode many horses over the years, some with complete trust and others with a strong grip on the reins and saddle, and they each taught me about managing control and refusing to listen to fear. I had to be driven by something greater than fear to learn to enjoy something as big as a horse.
To CREATE, I have to let go of a lot of that control that I like. My life purpose and my work are are neatly listed and managed in my planner with times and lots of little check boxes. That kind of scheduling can make creativity hide as fast as a rabbit on the trail. While my planner does keep me organized, I must remain flexible and friendly with my creativity. I must learn to trust where it takes me and many times allow it to lead into places not traveled before.
With horses, if you give them their head, they will take you home. They will return to the place where they are fed and cared for, where they can lie down to rest. To give creativity its head can allow it to take me home to a place where I feed it and rest in it, and allow it to grow. If I walk afraid and refuse to listen to its voice, unsure of where we’re headed, I can completely miss something that only I was put here to create. Elizabeth Gilbert writes that to live creatively, we must be driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.
When riding, I loved finding new trails through the woods that I’d never traveled on and rounding bends to see what was there, eager for all that would emerge into view. Whether the skies were cloudy or blue, the light would shine and I would experience places and scenes that helped shape my life. If I’d listened more to fear, I would have stayed at home in the riding ring and missed all that the country side had to show me.
So was every day on horseback a grand and glorious adventure? No! But there were many amazing moments and when strung together became the twinkle lights of my life’s memories that shed just enough light on today to encourage me to keep opening up to what may be out there.
Will every day of CREATE 2016 be a grand and glorious adventure either? I hope not! I need peaceful days of rest in there somewhere, but I know there will be enough days where the writing flows as freely as the mane of my horse when we’d gallop across a field!
Will you join me? Let’s form a circle of friends who are going forward with determination and intention. Let’s be brave, open up, and make this an amazing year! And what if it’s not? What if it doesn’t turn out like we hoped? That will be OK, too, because the important thing is to live fully and find the surprises down new trails. Here’s to the road less traveled and here’s to making a fuss! May we all look back at the end of this road and smile because we dared to fully live.
Want to find your ONE WORD? Visit OneWord365. The YouVersion Bible app also has a great 4 day Devotional. When you find your word, share it in the comments. I’d just love to encourage you in your focus this year!
More than enough grace for all our journeys,
From the desk by the window where the sun and wind are dancing with the pine trees!
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message Bible)
(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, January 4, 2016
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