One morning in December as I spent time in God's Word I read these verses in 1 Thessalonians.
"Now as to the love of the brethern, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethern who are in all Macedonai. But we urge you, brethern, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,"
1 Thess. 4:9-11
There it was! Excel.
There are so many areas that I could pursue excellence in: sports, photography, writing, homeschooling, gardening, animal husbandry, sewing, cooking and while all of those have some value I am primarily compelled to pursue excellence in another way.
I have thought about this quite a bit during the past few months. The Bible is a super-big book, and I'm certainly no theologian, but I propose that if the Bible could be distilled down to one key action it would be love.
We love because He first loved us.
"By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
1 John 4:9-11"
Relationships matter. Loving people matters. When my very short life is finished, I'm not going to wish that I had exercised more, been more educated, decorated my home more creatively, been published as an author, learned more or any other myriad of activities that I could pursue. I will care about relationships that I have invested in.
You will still find me taking photos, homeschooling, sewing, gardening, working out like a crazy woman and yes, homeschooling (for many more years!), but this year as I contemplate my One Little Word, "excel," I desire to pursue love.
Loving my precious Savior
Loving my husband
Loving my children
Loving my friends
Loving the world around me and, as John Wesley said,
"Do all the good that you can, in all the places you can, in all the ways that you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, for as long as you can." ~~John Wesley~~
2012, the year of "excel" for me.
Have you chosen a word for this year?