…or they wouldn’t exist.
This has became sort of a mantra-turned-joke of mine. Something I (along with others) found myself saying often, mostly because I strongly believe it’s true. But admittedly it’s also a rather ridiculous, easy-to-mock statement, and certainly not the best logic I’ve ever drawn upon. (Lots of things exist that aren’t important – but that’s another discussion for another day). Regardless, I believe that words matter. A lot.
God spoke creation into being with words. “And God said, ‘Let there be light…'”
The New Testament begins: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It goes on to say, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The Word is God. And that same Word became flesh and blood in order to redeem creation and fulfill God’s original purpose and plan for us. This Word is a big deal!
First words, last words, favorite words (mine is “space” if you’re wondering). We put a strong emphasis on words, for good reason. There is something deeply spiritual about words. Something centering and purposeful. Words orient our hearts, our relationships, and our lives. My friend, Erin, recently blogged about how this is true for her and you can read what she has to say here! And another friend of mine, Ben, just sent me a song called “Words to Build A Life On.” It’s a beautiful and powerful worship song about God’s words working in our lives. Listen to it here.
All that to say, last week at our YL Fall Staff Conference we had the opportunity to spend some time working on a plan for our own personal growth this year. What began as neatly segmented sections of how I wanted to orient my life (under the headings: Spiritual, Emotional, Social, Physical, etc.), quickly became a jumbled mess of overlapping thoughts and ideas. What emerged, what unintentionally overlaid the system I began with, were three simple words. And over the next few days I’m going to share them with you here. Not just the word, but images, songs, and quotes that unpack what the word means to me as I think about this year. First,
RELEASE: Let go; Be free; Adventure.
One of my favorite cartoons by Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void (you should subscribe for his free, daily cartoon blog):
“All changes, even the most longed for, have the melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” –Anatole France (Nobel Prize winning novelist)
“God can’t change who we’re becoming until we let go of who we were. We are new creations.” –Bob Goff