Word of the Year: Risk

I was inspired by a post on The Happiness Project blog to consider a one word theme for my year.  I set goals and make resolutions most years, but I thought it might be interesting to also distill my goals for 2011 into one word.  Upon reflection, I decided that my word of the year for 2011 will be RISK.

Last month in a sermon on Isaiah our pastor quoted Paul Miller’s saying: “You’re either going to risk or you’re going to rust.” In other words, you can either spend your life in complacent laziness, just going through the motions, or you can really reach and stretch yourself and move out in faith.  Inertia may seem comfortable and easier at the time, but true growth only happens when you step outside of your comfort zone.

The risk versus rust contrast really stuck with me and kept coming to mind whenever I thought about my goals.  In some areas of my life I’ve been resting on my laurels a bit instead of pushing forward for growth.  I have been outright neglecting some facets of my life in favor of others.  Even in areas that I have focused on, I want to be more audacious and deliberate in how I spend my time and effort. Some of my goals for 2011 will require changes in how I think and allocate my time, but I’m excited to see what develops.  Risk can be scary if you think of it in all or nothing terms, but it’s actually quite energizing to take risks when you’re grounded in faith and open to correction.

Another way I’m applying the concept of risk in my life this year is in the area of decision making.  I tend to be a quick leaper – I size up a situation, do a fast rundown of the options and potential outcomes, and then pick an answer.  For example, I decided I was going to marry my husband while we were on our second date (it took him a WEE bit longer to reach the same conclusion!).  In some areas of life though, particularly in parenting, I often find myself paralyzed and unable to make decisions for fear of messing up or out of too much concern for what others will think of me.  Please understand that I’m not promoting lackadaisical parenting here or suggesting that good counsel is useless, but my problem is more an overabundance of concern.   I need to RISK in the sense of asking God for wisdom and trusting that He is sovereign so that I can move out in faith rather than spinning my wheels.

If you had to sum up your goals and hopes for 2011 in one word, what would it be?

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