Some people choose a word for their year, one that resonates with what they want more of in their lives: Joy. Gratitude. Peace. Kindness. Simplicity. Order. The idea is that focusing on the single word, or theme, helps to guide you gently toward your intentions; more gently than, say, the black-and-white resolutions that are so easy to break.
I’ve tried this, but it hasn’t really worked for me. Apparently I need something a bit more focused, or at least a bit more memorable.
This year, that memorable theme fell into my lap. I went to Mass on New Year’s Day, and the first reading was from Numbers, chapter 6, where the Lord is telling Moses to bless the Israelites with these words:
The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!
I needed this. I need to take the focus off all the ways I don’t measure up in my own mind and just remember that the Lord looks upon me kindly. I need to let the stresses and anxieties of my life recede into the background and remember that the Lord blesses me and keeps me. I need to let the Lord give me peace, instead of pushing it away with all my worrying and struggling and despairing.
So those are my “words” for 2015. I could reduce it down to saying “Numbers 6:24-26” or even just refer to it with the single word “blessing.” But I’m not going to! I’d rather repeat the verses to myself each day and feel God’s blessing on my life.