Last year left me worn and tired. So when it came time for me to think and reflect on a New Year word (something I always do, read about it here and here), I was overwhelmed. It did not seem like I was done with 2015 much less ready to start 2016 head on.
I spent my Christmas break in Augusta, GA. It was a much needed reprieve from the fast-paced, crazy city life. Since I was not working or schooling, I had plenty of quiet time for thinking.
But still no light bulb moment.
My three weeks at home were full of rest and self-reflection but still no insight.
But you, Lord, are my shield! You are my glory! You are the one who restores me. I cry out to the Lord and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down, sleep, and wake up because the Lord helps me.
It was not until I was driving through the desert on the way to the CFB National Championship (Go TIGERS!) did I feel that still calm voice. Ironic, since I was about to enter one of the loudest stadiums I have ever experienced and over all the weekend adventure was quite hectic.
Perhaps it was the mountains calling or a new symptom of clay withdrawal. Either way, with unyielding confidence I knew that this year would be Refresh. The thoughts behind this decision stem from the ceramic studio. One of my favorite qualities of clay is that it can be reused. You can play with it without the pressure of finality. But even clay gets exhausted, the platelets no longer line up, the strength waivers and the consistency clumps. So you take the clay and refresh it. This is just as important and strenuous as throwing or building. You reclaim it, pug it and then wedge it repeatedly until the clay is ready again. In summary, you refresh the clay.
By choosing the word Refresh as my focus and goal, I am recognizing the difficult past couple of years and my exhausted state, but most importantly that I need to work to get back to a ready point. I need to fertilize the field and get ready for rain (Thank you Facing the Giants for never ending metaphoric gems).
Jesus replied, "Now you believe? Look! A time is coming- and is here!- when each of you will be scattered to your own home and you will leave me alone. I'm not really alone for the Father is with me. I've said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world."