One Word: From Wait to Present
Time for my new 2023 “one word.” For 2022, my “one word” was wait, something I’ve never done well. So it did not surprise me when God gave me that word. For the past several years, my focus word has not been something easy to live out. Instead, God has used it to grow me out of my comfort zone. And 2022 was no exception as I learned to curb my impatience and rest in God’s perfect timing.
As the calendar approached this new year, I wondered what new word He would give me. Through a series of confirmations, I realized my word for 2023 is “present.” No, not a wrapped gift, but the action of being present in the moment.
My initial reaction was confusion. Waiting involves anticipation—looking for something that has not yet occurred. But being present in the moment? That had nothing to do with waiting . . . or did it? The more I considered it, the more I realized that these two focus terms were what I needed to learn—and to learn them in that order.
Learning to live in the moment is impossible unless one has learned to wait well. Otherwise, worries about the future will always cloud the present. And I was already an expert in that department. You see, I’m not only a to-do list maker, I usually have multiple lists clamoring for my attention. My default status is to be planning and preparing, thoughts racing with what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done. And I’m pretty good at it.
But being present in the moment? Not so much. Not to allow concerns about the next day, week, month, or year intrude on my today? It isn’t easy to remain in the moment, whether in interactions with friends or in appreciation of God’s gifts as I enjoy His natural creation.
But if I really think about it, isn’t this the true test of trust? I can’t claim to wait well if I allow the beauty of the moment to pass without notice, participation, and enjoyment.
Did I truly learn to wait well in 2022? Looks like I’ll find out in 2023 as I accept the challenge to be present in the moment, and worry less about tomorrow. I’m reminded of what Jesus had to say about this in Matthew 6:34 (NASB 95): “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Each day has joy of its own, too. And as I learn to live in the present, I’m looking forward to the joy that will naturally follow.
Do you choose “one word’ each new year? Share yours in the comments!