‘Tis that time of year. Gifts have been unwrapped, pumpkin pies have been consumed, games have been played, songs have been sung—and all over the world, people turn their attention to….


For the majority of Americans, their goals for the New Year will include at least some of these lofty yet popular goals:

• Lose weight
• Get more exercise
• Get out of debt
• Spend more time with family and friends
• Stop smoking

Well-intentioned Christians may throw in

• Pray and attend church services more frequently

All that is well and good.  Chances are, though, that if you’re like me, by the third week of January those hefty resolutions will find themselves flung into the urban hinterlands in the back of your bureau—if not, even worse, into the circular file—and life will go on as before.

My proposal for this year is to toss aside the list of complicated resolutions, and to instead employ a “Mission Statement” in a single word.
One word, rich with meaning and significance.
One word which embodies all that I am, and all that I aspire to be.
One word is not too much to remember, and not too much to achieve.

Among my coworkers and acquaintances, out there on the city street or bobbing in the maelstrom of humanity at the mall, are people whose one-word Mission Statement might be “Acquire.”
Others rivet their attention on a singular goal: “Win.”
An athlete might seek to “Score”; a college professor might hope to “Teach” while his student intends to “Learn.”
Children love to “Play.”
Americans aim to “Spend” or “Save,” “Work” or “Play.”

Having embraced, then gracefully emerged from a good many of these interim states of being, I pray this year for the courage and the stamina to grab onto a single goal—to “Love”—and then to do it well, to hold tight despite whatever storms and struggles the year will bring.

“God is Love,” John tells us (1 John 4:8); and by gnawing on Love, by rapacious grasping at Love, I hope to encounter Him more fully.

If Love is the hallmark by which I dignify my every encounter—if Love is both the means and the goal—then I’m sure to welcome the stranger, but also to bless the grocery clerk and the department manager with a kind word.
If I have Love, I’ll debate less and listen more.
Afire with Love, I’ll mirror Christ to everyone I meet.

Happy New Year! Bring it on!

  • Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

    What a beautiful post. I’m with you – LOVE is the answer! Christ’s love shining through us can convert hearts and work miracles. Mother Teresa always said that love isn’t love unless it hurts. In other words, many times we must sacrifice to really love someone.

    Onward with LOVE!


  • Renee

    Great post! May my actions, too, flow from LOVE this year!