As a mentor for a course that I helped edit this past summer, I was given a thought provoking New Year’s challenge that you might also want to consider. I was asked to choose one word to inspire or guide me in the coming year and to choose a scripture verse to go along with it. As a lover of words, this was a perfect assignment for me!
After pondering for awhile, I chose still as my word and Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God” as my verse. This well-known scripture has sustained me through some very difficult times over the past few years and I trust that it will continue to do so.
But why still? Why a word that at first glance seems to suggest inactivity, perhaps even lack of effort or progress? When I looked up definitions of still I found beautiful words like “deep silence and calm” “free from turbulence or commotion” “quietude” and “tranquility”. These are definitely characteristics that I want to exhibit in my life and in my relationships. I want to be calm in the face of whatever storms 2017 might bring.
I also discovered that still is a verb, an action word meaning “to quieten” “to settle” or “to soothe”. In 2017, I want to be one who brings stillness and calm into the lives of others, especially those whose lives are torn and broken.
As I further searched the concept of stillness, I came across a lot of new age thinking about finding it within ourselves or by being in tune with the cosmos. Sadly, though, there is no stillness to be found within our own souls unless the Lord resides there and it most certainly can’t be found in the world around us, a world characterized by economic crisis, terrorism, war and natural disaster. Psalm 46:10 tells us that true stillness comes from knowing the great I AM, the creator of the cosmos. He is the source of the peace and calm that I want at the centre of my life in the coming year and for all eternity.
What about you? Can you think of a word to inspire or guide you in this new year?