'Word of the Year'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Can you say ‘distraction’?  When I think of 2019…I think ‘distraction’.  Merriam-Webster has declared the personal pronoun, ‘they’, as the word of the year for 2019.  There was a 313% increase in lookups on the company’s search site this year compared to 2018 for the word ‘they’.

Merriam-Webster may declare ‘they’ as the word of the year, but I declare ‘distraction’ as the posture of the year.  We, and they, have been distracted all year long.  Distraction has taken over the world.  We are distracted in the United Methodist Church with human sexuality…I honestly believe when we all get to heaven God is going to say to us “What was the big deal?”  We have been distracted in the United States of America with impeachment.  Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or none of the above…we have spent hours of energy and focus on whether our President should be impeached or not.

The world is distracted with an unhealthy desire for power and wealth while so many still hungers for food, shelter and security for family and friends.  Bullies distract us, whether on the playground or at a political negotiating table.  We are distracted!

The problem with distraction is that it keeps us from focusing on that which we could be doing that is good, healthy and peace making.  I happen to be naïve enough to still believe that the Prince of Peace came to bring peace to the world.  However, when we are distracted all we usually do is react to distraction rather than proactively seek peace with each other and with our sisters and brothers around the world.

My prayer for 2020 (the year of perfect vision…how about that for a ‘pun’?) is that we move away from distraction and toward a healthier focus. 

What does healthy focus look like, you ask?  “Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given with bonus and blessing.  Giving, not getting, is the way.  Generosity begets generosity.” (Luke 6:38 Message).  What would 2020 look like if each of us determined that we would do our very best to ‘out-give’ everyone else?  I suspect that this would lead to the word of the year for 2020 to be ‘Wow’!

Always Thinking…

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