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Senior Correspondent


No, not you. Me. My word of the year is "wait." Didn’t see that one coming.

In fact, I was pretty sure it was another word. I spent the last week savoring that other word, looking up quotes, imagining it, exploring it. And then, as New Year’s Eve moved from afternoon to early evening I was starting to get ahead of myself a bit by thinking of my post today. I was reading another quote about that other word and the word “wait” glowed on the page, calling my attention to it, gently nudging the other word away.

Hmm, I thought, not a very sexy word. A bit dull, even tedious. Not glittery and exciting like my word for 2012, Shine. Waiting is not something I’m known for. On the contrary, I’ve more often heard myself described, even by those who love me, as impatient.

But I’ve gotten so much better, I protested to this word. I can belly breathe when I get stuck in traffic. I can entertain myself while standing in line to check out. I can almost stay calm when I get handed off through a series of recorded messages to end up still not talking to a real person… almost.

I really didn’t think this could possibly be my word. The word waited. (The irony of that is not lost on me.)

Well, there was that time last summer, which still haunts me, when I reacted quickly and forcefully in fear. I still wonder what would have happened if I had paused to breathe and think before doing what fear told me to do.

And what about all those times when I interrupt? I’m so eager to speak my piece, to move the conversation along, to get things resolved, to override the other person’s opinion.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how scattered I feel, how my mind kittens are high on catnip, how I fidget restlessly while trying to settle in prayer or meditation, how multi-tasking seems to be my default mode because I can’t focus on one thing at a time, how I’ve been yearning to deepen my spiritual practice.

But waiting is not what I had in mind. The word smiled.

So I said the word…and waited. The effect was immediate. My body relaxed, my mind calmed. Like sinking into a soft pillow or warm water. I felt alert, filled with quiet anticipation. My soul expanded, open.

I remembered my word of 2011, and yielded. My new word, "Wait," glowed happily and settled in.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.  –Psalm 130:5-6

 May 2013 be a year of abundant blessings to us all.

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