One Word


Happy New Year!


I know, you haven’t heard from me in a while, but have been thinking on this for a few weeks and thought I’d share.


It is a new year and maybe you’ve thought through the idea of resolutions or goals or something else to do for this upcoming year. If you recall, there was a book that came out several years ago called “One Word.” It could be something that needed to improve in your life or where you wanted your focus to be for the year.


This idea has caught on and it seems everyone is doing it. So, I thought I’d try it this year. I did a couple of tests online to see if I could find the right word. Nothing. I prayed about it. Still nothing. I even did a week-long analysis of my life to find my word. Nope, not there either. None of the words I read about or thought of on my own really captured what I felt was the most important word to work on for this coming year.


Then it happened.


In my “Thoroughly Equipped” group, we had some discussion on spiritual disciplines. One of the big questions we discussed was, “How can I find time?” We looked at Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, and the account of when she sat at Jesus’ feet instead of helping Martha in the preparation for the meal.


Do you recall Jesus’ words? He told Martha that Mary had chosen what was better.


Here’s what the “Thoroughly Equipped” authors had to say about this idea. “This phrase ‘Mary has chosen’ does not mean that Mary was blessed with a more spiritual sensitivity than her sister. Rather, she chose to set aside pressing demands to spend time with Jesus.


“The phrase, ‘what is better,’ means that Mary chose based on her discernment of what was more valuable. The Greek word used communicates the idea of choosing the best dish on the table. Mary had plenty of choices, yet, she chose what would nourish and satisfy the most.”[i]


The Best Dish on The Table. Let’s say you’re at a family gathering and all the wonderful cooks in your family have prepared a massive feast for the group. But you can only choose one dish to take food from. Which dish is the best dish on the table? How do you determine the best dish? Taste? Nutritional value? What is your criteria for making that choice?


Clearly Mary made the right choice. She spent time at Jesus’ feet listening to and learning from him. Martha made a good choice…we will always need Martha’s in our world. But Mary made the better choice.


Back to my one word. As soon as read this article and these words, I knew my one word for the year. Choice. I need to work on the choices I make. And as I’m thinking about choices, I always need to relate back to choosing the best dish on the table.


Maybe you have thought about this and have your one word. YAY for you! Maybe you have already given up on your one word. Or maybe you’ve never thought of it before.


Wherever you are in this process, I would encourage you to not only come up with your one word, but that you would also share your one word with someone. Your best friend. Your spouse. A co-worker. Your dentist. I don’t know, share it with someone. What I do know is whether we make resolutions or goals or choose one word for the year, we do better at reaching or maintaining them when we share with another person.


I pray that you will allow God to be part of this process. I know that by spending time with Him daily and digging deep into His Word, I found my word. Now to get on with making the best choices this year.


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



[i] “Thoroughly Equipped: Developing Co-Laborers,” Kurt Sauder and Eric Schansberg, Further Still Ministries, 2014.

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