Saturday, January 22, 2022

Finally, a word

There was a short time where I would pray for a word to surface at the beginning of each year that I would adopt as my annual theme. I would meditate on it, lean into it, and focus on developing whatever it entailed into my daily living. I took a break from this practice, as with most things I held familiar, in the year 2020. I made a couple feeble attempts to land on one, but no single word seemed fitting, and anything I was pondering in January was gone like vapor when March blew in with barreling force. 

Early on in 2021, I tried to pick the practice back up but no word was surfacing so I chose one I liked and briefly claimed my annual word would be “lavish.” It was less a word that came to me in prayer and more one I tried to coerce upon the 365 days that lay before me as I pleaded, “God please let this year feel like a lavish table after what we endured in the last.” My claim over the word endured a solid three weeks before I released it and laughed and decided that 2021 was another year that couldn’t be wrapped up neatly into a singular word. The year was anything but lavish in the way I had dreamed. 

I didn’t try to force the practice this year. Admittedly, I have felt a bit wary of calling out a word, lest I land myself in a similar space as I did these past two years. But I’m trying to hold this exercise loosely, and allow it to serve me well when it does, and let it go when it doesn’t. This year, a word bubbled up on it’s own. My word for this year is


Just typing it makes me grin like I’ve got a little something up my sleeve. As a word, it’s a bit whimsy and fun, and not super serious, which basically makes it 100% my opposite. But these are all qualities I want to foster and I haven’t felt the buzz of excitement the word brings me in a really long time. I can’t wait to see what God does with it. 

So why SPARK? As I was praying over my year, I found myself longing to feel more fully alive, more joyful, and to savor this life that I’m living. Other word options that came to my mind started with “re” - revive, refresh, renew. All of them danced around the theme of coming alive again after a season of dormancy. But spark? It’s a flash, a buzz, a crackle. It seems like nothing at first, but can quickly grow into a warm blaze, or a roaring fire. Something small catches and comes alive. It’s the catalyst that brings about the revival. It’s what gets things going. It’s playful and has a mind of it’s own. It’s the fun part. It doesn’t wait to be invited. It sparks to life wherever it lands.

The dictionary defines spark as: a small fiery particle thrown off from a fire, alight in ashes, or produced by the striking together of two hard surfaces such as stone or metal. To set off in a burst of activity. A feeling or quality that causes excitement.

I think a fork in the road is coming; I feel like I am on the cusp of something new. Where life of late has felt like one, long straight path of monotony, I feel like I’m emerging from dormancy. Metal has been rubbing against stone. The hardships aren’t for naught. Finally, there it is! A spark. Let it out. Jesus, take these stirrings within me and blow them wide open. Let a gust of wind catch the tiny glow. Fan that spark and let it come ablaze. 

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posted by kelsie