For years, my sister and I have kept a pact to share with each other our New Year's resolutions in order to encourage, support and help each other on track. However, one thing we both noticed was how lofty and intricate we made our resolutions. As a result, a few months into the new year, we have often felt discouraged and moved back to our default settings of bad habits or autopilot living.
This year we are trying something new. Instead of overly complicated and unrealistic resolutions, we have chosen an intention word. We will be finishing this sentence: 2018 will be the year of __________________. For me, I chose one word for my personal life and one word for my work with you.
For my personal life, my intention word is HEALTH. Those who know me best know I struggle with self-care. I don't eat like I should. I don't sleep as much as I should. Sometimes I don't even play like I should. I often over work and over commit, forgetting to take time to tend to my body, mind and spirit in ways that help me to be refreshed, rejuvenated and revitalized in order to be the best version of myself that God has created me to be. In order to keep myself in check, the focus question I intend to ask myself when faced with choices (whatever they may be) will be "IS THIS HEALTHY FOR ME...spiritually, physically, emotionally and/or mentally?"
For my work life, my intention word is COLLABORATE. Too often, those of us in ministry are lone rangers. Even our faith communities tend to work independently and sometimes even competitively with one another. We forget we are stronger together. We forget we can learn from one another. We forget the blessings and benefits of mutual ministry. We forget that we have been created by God to be relational beings. There is something powerful and beautiful that happens when we work together. In order to be more faithful and effective in my own ministry, the focus question I intend to ask myself when approaching any work, task, or responsibility will be "HOW CAN I COLLABORATE OR PROMOTE COLLABORATION with leaders in our Conference, our churches, our denomination and the wider Church as a whole in order that the work and ministry of Jesus Christ is strengthened?
I challenge you as individuals and as a church to consider what your intention word for 2018 might be. If you feel inspired, feel free to send me your 2018 intention word to post in upcoming Weekly Connections. In this way we can commit to lifting each other up in prayer, spurring each other to intentionally live a more faith-filled, inspired year.
Blessings, Rev. Shana Johnson, Conference Minister