I first heard of this idea of a "word" for the year from Brian Hardin, host of the Daily Audio Bible podcast. DAB has a free app in iTunes and Android for download, and it's well worth it.
Other Facebook friends of mine have a "word" for the year. Last year, I thought I had one: "declutter". Well, that didn't work too well, because my house is still as cluttered as ever.
This year, though, I think I have a word, and it's one that may seem a little odd:
I don't mean that I'm unhappy with life, or that I want more stuff or more money (although more money is always good :-) )
Rather, I'm not satisfied with several things in my life, especially my relationship with God.
There has got to be more than just going to church twice a week, doing the fill-in-the-blank studies I do with my ladies' group (although we do have a lot of good discussion there!), rote, legalistic "quiet times" or "devotional times", rote, recited prayers where we start with, "Dear God," "Heavenly Father," do a quick "thank you", ask for prayers for the sick, for "traveling mercies", and other things; ask God to "be with," "bless", "lift up," and the other phrases we use in prayer, pay lip service to "Jesus' sacrifice on the cross", and then ending prayers with a sing-songy sounding, "In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."
I'm not satisfied with shallow, superficial religion. I just want something more, and that's why I say I'm dissatisfied.
I probably sound rather critical. It is not easy to lead public prayers. I've led prayer in my ladies' group before, and I wind up falling back on the pet phrases I so detest. It could be that I expect too much to hear a "fresh-sounding" prayer every week. And nothing's wrong with our prayers for the sick, or for people on the road. In fact, I can think of a long list of reasons why we should pray for the sick, and/or for the other requests we pray for. And a scheduled time with God is good. If I want a deeper relationship with God, this "something more" that I want, then I need to put time into it, and if it's not somewhere on the schedule, it's not going to happen. Printed Bible studies are also good. A relative of a friend of mine wrote a Bible study recently. Trying to write lessons for people isn't easy. (It's also something I've never done, so I probably don't appreciate the effort that goes into a Bible study lesson.)
But isn't there something more than just all of the above?
I wrote a blog post recently about the trappings of Christianity. We have our Christian culture, Christian words and phrases ("quiet time", anybody?), our pre-packaged Bible curricula, Vacation Bible School, Bible and prayer apps; and we scream about "prayer in schools" and how much better it would be if only "God were allowed back in schools". A Facebook post I recently read said, in reference to the presidential election, that America would be better off with "a man of God" at the helm. I surprised myself with my response, because there was a time that I probably would have said the same thing. The gist of what I said was, the first century church began in a time where the person "at the helm" was far from being "a man of God" . . . and yet, the church exploded in growth. It might be easier for us if the person in charge was a "man of God", but would it be better for us?
The early Christians had the apostles, some written words, and their gatherings. And yet, they spread the word everywhere they went. We have the whole Bible and modern technology, and I wonder if we're doing the same thing.
I just want something more out of my relationship with God.
And that's why my word is "dissatisfaction."
Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.