In preparation for the new year, I became obsessed with finding a WORD that might help direct me in life and leadership decisions. It may seem a bit foolish to you, but I have found the process of selecting A WORD that might be a NORTHSTAR as I attempt my CLIMB in 2017 to be an encouragement.
I started writing words that might be definitively challenging, or comforting, or promising. I wrote well more than 100 different one-word declarations that were all noble and worthwhile. I then pared the list down to 10 words. I defined each term as it applied to me on my CLIMB. My 10 were:
I then prayed over these words of affirmation. I prayed for what they meant to me, what the Divine intended them to mean to me, my family, and my church. I prayed for one of these words to rise to the top of my soul and claim it as “my word, my path, and MY CLIMB for 2017.” Before I could select one word, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to rate how I thought I was doing in these ten areas/words in my life. That rating system was on a 1-10 scale. 1=really badly and 10=killing it. Here’s how that turned out, in my personal, self-assessment:
- Compassionate – 4
- Healthy – 5
- Balanced – 2
- Focused – 4
- Intentional – 3
- Peaceful – 1
- Driven – 9
- Generous – 5
- Grateful – 6
- Courageous – 3
If you are counting, that’s a 42 out of 100. OUCH! So, what would it take for these attributes to all greatly improve in my life, this year? My answer- COURAGE! That’s my word, as in Courageous Follower of Jesus, Courageous Husband, and Provider, Courageous Dad, Courageous Pop, Courageous Learner, Courageous Adventurer, Courageous Leader, Courageous Author, Courageous Preacher, Courageous Pastor and Courageous Servant.
It takes courage to start a CLIMB. It requires courage to stay on the CLIMB. It takes courage to finish the CLIMB.
Here are a few bits of help to start, stay, and finish your CLIMB.
- FIND YOUR WORD FOR THE CLIMB. Build a memorial to remind you throughout the year. I used myintent.org to help me get a singular focus that aids and strengthens my Waterford Crystal clear word that can carry me and encourage me. I also used their service to memorialize it with “wearable remembrance.”
- Stop expecting “someone to do” this work and thought for you, when the Divine may actually use you to help folks believe they can do this!
- Stay fueled with God’s Word, strengthened by His church, and comforted by His kids.
Courage is what gets me on the CLIMB, keeps me on the CLIMB, and blesses me on the CLIMB. But courage requires more than showing up. It necessitates me to seek after God’s own heart. Day by day by day!
Get courageous and see if you have what it takes to trust the Divine to do whatever He truly wants to bless you with. Go find “YOUR WORD”, define it and chase after it like a a wanderer in the desert searching for a cool, refreshing drink of ice cold water.
Go Get Your Courage Cranked Up! Nothing big happens in a vacuum or a cubicle. It happens when the Divine is allowed to lead and guide our souls – as Paul says – on this “one thing.” So discover, share, and live YOUR WORD!
Stay Cool, Chuck