One of the annual New Year’s customs in the blogging world is choosing a word for the year ahead. People choose their words for all kinds of reasons – it could be something they hope will happen, a trait they’d like to adopt, a principle of life they wish to espouse. Whatever word they choose, it’s meant to be a harbinger of positive change in their life during the 12 months ahead of them.
Following a Twitter link this morning led me to Ali Edwards blog and her Word Project. She posted a list of alllll the words that bloggers have chosen as “one little word” for 2011, as wall as a link to the words being spoken aloud, resulting in a very beautiful litany of aspiration.
I’ve been itching to choose a word for myself this year, but I’m waiting until after tomorrow, which is Star Sunday. I’ve written about this event before. It’s the way our church honors Epiphany each year, with the annual gift of stars. The offering plates are passed through the congregation, each plate filled to the brim with paper stars piled face down. Upon the face of each star is written a WORD – words like hope, health, prayer, creativity, practice, leadership, attention, music, stories, love, redemption, relationship, and hundreds of others. Each person chooses a star in faith that this word will manifest itself for good in their life during the coming year.
I absolutely adore Star Sunday, and I’m not alone. You have to get there early, because parking spots are hard to come by. There are usually more people in the congregation than on any other day, with the possible exception of Easter Sunday (and maybe not even then!) Our minister jokes that it’s because Star Sunday is the only day you get to take something out of the offering plate, rather than put something in.
But that’s not it. It’s the idea of being given something that just might change you or change your life, something that might give you the added incentive to work harder at being kind and loving, to pay more attention to people in your life, to cultivate a hidden talent. It’s the remarkable notion that God, or whatever higher power you believe in, can direct you to a word that may have meaning for you and you alone.
As a writer, I also love Star Sunday because it’s a day when everyone acknowledges the power of words. All of us are there for the same reason – because we want a WORD, one little WORD. With our desire, we invest that word with all kinds of power. Of course, those of us who write (and read) know that words have immense power. It’s just very cool for me to see all the people in my church suddenly announcing that they believe that too.
So I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about my word for 2011, and to see what star I’m steering by.