When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 (NIV)
A dear and inspiring friend put this idea in my head a few weeks back: find a word for the new year, a word to anchor you and guide you in the months to come.
How freeing to frame the new year in a single word that anchors and roots, instead of in a list of resolutions that bind and break and remind me of my human imperfection.
So I prayed for a word, an anchor to ground me in God and lift me to his heavenly heights.
He delivered this: Light.
As in... Jesus is the Light of the World. He gives the light of life. He illumines our paths with his example, his embodiment as the Living Word.
As in... embrace the light. As one predisposed to depression, turn to the light of the Lord, the light of the sun, the lighter side of life. When darkness tugs, I want to remember to turn to his light that lifts, buoys, calms, brightens.
As in... be the light. Let my light shine. Put the gifts that God has given me to work to glorify him, to reach and teach others. Point to his power and patience and amazing, saving grace.
As in... lighten up. Let the light that God ignites in me radiate with my loved ones, not just friends and neighbors and strangers in my path. (Why is it easier to be my better self with them, and not my dearest loved ones?) Smile more, laugh more easily, lighten my voice, my tone, my presence.
As in... lighten the load. Be aware of the things I carry in my heart, on my shoulders, the stress I bear in my neck and my back and my hips. Lift worries up to God. Sweat anxieties out of my pores. Shed stress by stretching and letting go. And yes, shedding a few pounds along the way would be good for my health and my state of mind.
One word, full of God's hope and promise. I like it. I like how it creeps into the corners of my days, making itself felt and seen and heard in the most surprising ways. Morning sunshine bathing the dining room table. Piano notes streaming soft and high. A quiet house after weeks of rush and hubbub and celebration. A Bible, heavy with inspiration, that lifts and lightens my perspective and raises my sights to my Living Lord.
May you find an anchor and a light to your path in this new year. May Christ free you to be your best self. May he fill you full to overflowing with his peace, hope, and love.