Many of you know by now that each new year I let a word choose me — as suggested by the Abbey of the Arts:
“give me a word” we ask – something to nourish me, challenge me, a word I can wrestle with and grow into. The word which chooses us has the potential to transform us.
What is your word for the year ahead? A word which contains within it a seed of invitation to cross a new threshold in your life?
I used an online meditation by Jason Stephenson to let my word find me. Using a spoken guided meditation helps me focus and be open — all at once.
The word that came surprised me. (I think I say that every year).
This word is one that functions as a verb and an adjective.
It certainly is a word that challenges me.
What is this word, my word for 2019?
It is: AWAKE
Yes, it came in all caps. It didn’t have an exclamation point, but it still feels urgent.
It surely is a word that I can wrestle with and grow into.
And it surely can transform me!
The word also came with music playing in my mind. A hymn from my growing-up years. An Advent hymn. A very Lutheran one.
“Wake, awake, for night is flying.”
This is the version that plays in my head. We sang this every Advent in my home church, Jerusalem Lutheran. “Jerusalem” is even in the early lyrics of the hymn!
And this is a well-known version (by the St. Olaf Choir).
This hymn is a part of my soul. And I know it is a part of the meaning of my AWAKE for 2019.
I’m entering this New Year with excitement, and my word for the year reflects that.
I’m feeling a significant shift from the past decade of big challenges – a cancer journey, a year of surgeries, many years of what felt like failure.
But all were years of opportunity and growth.
So now it’s time to AWAKE.
And to be AWAKE.
However that might look (or sound) in the coming year.
I know it will be continuation of the journey.
And exactly what I need.
It’s also what our world needs, too.