I don’t typically jump on the bandwagon of choosing a “word” for a new year, although early in 2020 I came pretty close with the word “though.” Based on Habakkuk 3:17 & 18 which declares, “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”
Faith is about trusting and worshiping God no matter what’s going on. Little did I know that all the “thoughs” we would face in 2020 could fill a blog post by themselves if I wanted them to. Now we’re well into 2021 and, while “though” remains appropriate, it’s time for a new word.
You may have seen those social media memes that look like random rows and columns of letters. “The first word you see describes your personality,” they allege. Or “the first word you spot will be your career,” or “the first word you see is where you’ll go next month.” I generally scroll right by without searching for any words.
A recent one caught my eye, however. “The first four words you see,” it claimed, “will describe your 2021.” I allowed my focus to roam in random circles around the diagram. The first word I spotted was Alignment.
Somehow, it resonated with me. I found three additional words, but I honestly don’t remember them. Alignment is worth paying attention to.
Isn’t it funny how, once you’ve settled on a theme word, it jumps out at you from everywhere, in all its forms? Does my car need a wheel alignment? How often should I see my chiropractor to keep my spine in alignment? Which belief system or political party do I align myself with? Was the Bethlehem star not actually a star, but an alignment of two or more planets? Are businesses in alignment with the province’s health code regulations? Will I go bonkers if the pictures hanging on my wall do not neatly align with each other? Do I want to use left, right, or center alignment on this document?
The possibilities for this word are enough to keep me going all year and then some, but I see one that stands out above all others: Is my will in alignment with God’s?
In 1977, a 17-year-old Amy Grant wrote and recorded a catchy little song that revealed wisdom beyond her years:
“The Lord has a will, and I have a need to follow that will; to humbly be still. To rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it; following my Father’s will.”
Though we too often fall horribly short of the goal, we Christians are big on the importance of following God’s will over our own selfish desires, dreams, and goals. We ask him to reveal his specific will and for courage to pursue it. Young people want to know which career to pursue, which school to attend, whom to marry or whether to marry. A productive Christian life involves aligning ourselves with God’s plan in these big ways, but also in many small ways, day in and day out.
I look forward to returning to this topic of Alignment occasionally throughout 2021 as God shows me more. Join me?
“Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10)