January 1, 2016

One Word: Cherish

And with the change of the numbers of the clock, 2015 is no more and a fresh calendar year begins! 2016. It's a blank piece of paper. So many things to plan. So many things to experience. New adventures just waiting for us. It's a time when people set new goals, and start with a clean slate. One of the things I have done in the last few years was to participate in the My One Word challenge and I am doing so again this year.

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Have you ever heard of the My One Word challenge? The challenge comes from the book by the same title and says:

Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. 

In the past, my words have been joy, faithful, and grow. It was interesting to reflect back on each of those words at the END of the year to see how they helped shape my year. I like to think about my word very carefully, and I usually turn to the Bible for inspiration. This year I was having a bit of trouble settling on a word. I was mulling over some nice ones: hope, compassion, courage, understanding, accountable...but they didn't feel right. Then I found myself humming an old Steve Green song...and as the words started running through my head--I knew I had found the answer. I knew what my word was going to be.

The dictionary has this to say about the word cherish:

Cherish is a verb with two primary definitions
a :  to hold dear :  feel or show affection for 
b :  to keep or cultivate with care and affection :  nurture

a : to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely

To cherish something, is to hold it in great affection, and/or to think deeply about something. Synonyms for the word include treasure, prize, value, adore, appreciate. This word describes how we feel or treat something. It's an action word. 

The song that had been running through my mind was called Cherish the Treasure. And the chorus goes "I cherish the treasure, the treasure of you. Lifelong companion, I give myself to you. God has enabled me to walk with you faithfully, and cherish the treasure, the treasure of you." The song is a wedding song, but as I listened to the chorus I thought of all the things that God has given me to cherish. Yes, my husband and boys. But also my extended family. My friends. But it goes deeper then that. 

I did a Bible word search. Could I find the word Cherish in a scripture? Not at first. I couldn't find the word used in KJV or NKJV. But I did find it using the New Living Translation. And wow. It was PERFECT. 

Isaiah 51:7

Yes! This is what I needed to take my one word where it needed to go. 

You who cherish My law. 

What does this mean to me? 

It speaks of loving the word of God and holding it dear. To keep it and cultivate a relationship with it. To treasure it. To prize it. To value it greatly. Each of these requires a relationship. Remember, Cherish is an action! And the second portion of the scripture--it's reminding me to be brave and bold in this world where it's increasingly hard to be a practicing Christian! This is a great admonishment to not be hiding our lights under a bushel (Matthew 5:14-16)--but to be speaking the word of God loud and clear no matter what people say and do. If we TRULY cherish the word of God, we WILL do this.

And so this year, I am going to strive to cherish the word of God more. To cultivate a deeper relationship and make sure that if I truly value it, I demonstrate it with my actions. I'm to make sure my family and friends know how much I cherish them and I am going to endeavor to cherish every moment this year.

Yes, Cherish is my word.

What is yours?

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