My One Word For 2014

Centering-PrayerLast year at this time I wrote out a whole post explaining why foundation would be my one word area of focus for 2013. I was anticipating becoming a dad, and becoming further entrenched into my pastoral ministry vocation, so focusing on a foundation that could be built upon in the coming years seemed wise.

Now as we are into 2014, my focus needs to shift. Not that I ever spot building a foundation, but I sense God pushing within me a desire toward a different focus, and one that still helps me build a foundation, because you never stop building, though you may not build well.

This year I will focus on being centered.

Why, you ask?

Never has my time been more stretched. Demands at home, demands at work, demands for sanity sake, all tug at me at different times. But the demands have increased in such a way that I struggle to balance it all. Mostly because I can be so easily distracted by things that offer little value in return.

Historically, the word centered brings to mind a few things:

  • Early Christian monasticism relied on what is known as centering prayer for fostering space for God’s presence in their lives.
  • Quakers are known for “centering down” as a form of private and congregational silence.

Both of these ideas highlight a theme I’d like my life to take on this year: time and space for the things that matter. But I’m taking this word traditionally associated with a form of prayer and transferring it to a life perspective. Here’s what I hope centered looks like in my life this year:

  • Focus on a small list of key priorities.
  • Space for a daily time of quiet.
  • Elimination of distractions.

Never have we been capable of more, but remain held back by the distraction of frivilous things. In becoming more centered, I hope for the allure of empty distractions to fade away, replaced by an inner peace.

After becoming a dad I quickly realized it was going to be impossible for me to be a good pastor, a good dad, a good husband, a good runner, a good golfer, a good musician, and a good follower of Jesus, while staying connected to the daily news cycle of sports and culture. And even though I’ve realized this, nothing in my habits has changed, until now.

So centered for me, is a challenge because cutting anything out of daily habits is a difficult task. As I’ve learned recently, distractions are a weakness for me, but like Paul, I will boast in them knowing God’s power can more brightly shine through them. Here’s to becoming more centered friends!

What’s your one word for 2014?