For the past 4 years, I have lead our leadership team in the One Word exercise. Coming from the book One Word that will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page, it’s the idea that you select one word to encapsulate your goals and aspirations for the year.
In the past, I’ve used “Press” with the thought of pressing into some new routines and pressing myself to do my best. The next year, my word was “Pilgrim” to remind myself that my journey is heavenward and I ought to live like it. Last year, I chose “Ezra” (I wrote about that here), based on Ezra 7:10 and focused on setting my heart to learn God’s word, to obey it, and to teach others.
Pour is my word for 2021
I am in transition this year, as my work at Chick-fil-A will be morphing from operational to consultative. Because I will start taking Social Security this year (amazing!), I will be able to cut my hours down and devote more time to writing and developing my platform. Because of these transitions, and because of the temptation to slack off and take it easy, “Pour” just seemed to be the right word.
“Pouring” is messy; it is indiscriminate. When I think of the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, I think of how she wasn’t parsimonious with the perfume; she lavished it on Jesus so that the aroma filled the room. That’s how I want the pouring of my life to be.
Isaiah wrote, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday” (58:10). I love the imagery of giving oneself for the sake of others as a pouring, a generous bestowal to those in need.
Finally, since I’m not getting any younger, I think more about the end of my days. Some of the Apostle Paul’s last words were, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:6). While I can’t say that the time of my departure has come, it’s much closer than ever, and I want to finish strong.
Therefore, I think of “pour” in 2021 in these aspirational ways:
-I will pour into all the endeavors of my life with enthusiasm, generosity, and liberality
-I will pour out myself on behalf of others
-I will be poured out by Almighty God, to be used and used up by him with nothing in reserve
-and thus be able to say, I have fought the fight, finished the race, kept the faith
-so help me God