A web site called One Word 365 has attracted much attention at the beginning of 2012. Instead of making and breaking a list of resolutions, this web site encourages people to choose one word as a focal word for the entire year.
Even before seeing this site, I encountered my word while reading my Bible a few weeks ago. While reading the 92nd Psalm, my attention zeroed in on the phrase that now sits in the header to this blog just under the FrankGantz.com. (If you are reading this via email or in your RSS reader, you will need to click through to the actual website to see it.)
The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
(Psalm 92:12-13 ESV)
I have chosen the verb flourish as my focal word of the year. The focal phrase is flourish like the palm tree.
Living in South Florida, I love watching the palm trees. We even have three of them in our front yard. On a sunny day, they dot the blue skies as one looks overhead. During our tropical storms, they sway and bend but usually avoid becoming uprooted.
The word translated flourish means to break forth as a bud, bloom; to spread; to fly (as extending the wings). I pray that 2012 will be a year of breaking forth, blooming, spreading and flying.
What is it that will allow us to flourish?
It is the righteous that flourish. Now be sure that our righteousness is really unrighteousness. We must rely solely on the righteousness of Christ. So this year let us look to Christ as the our only source of a righteous life.
In The Courts of our God
It matters where the tree is planted. The psalmist indicates that the tree flourished in the courts of our God. The parallel line above that indicates that this is the house of the LORD. Keep in mind that the courts were part of the entrance area for gathering people. Elsewhere the psalmist indicates that we enter his courts with praise.
So let this be a year of being with God’s people with a focus on praising God. Also let it be a time of entering into his presence. Here is a fuller treatment of this aspect – Spending Time in God’s Presence: Praise.
What is one word that would describe your focus for 2012?