B is for Bold


New weekly musings inspired by the alphabet: 

In January 2017, 
the first Sunday of January, 
and therefore Epiphany Sunday and our “celebration” of all things star,
fell on the very first day of January.
That was the first time I did “Star Words” with the congregation I served as a lay worship leader. 
Everyone received a word – written on a yellow star – by choosing randomly from a basket. 
I chose “gratitude”. 

I had never intentionally chosen a word of the year before then, 
and haven’t since
because the word seems to find me each new year. 
For the past three years, my words have been Patience and Curiosity, 
two words I carried over from year to year because
they are exactly what I needed. 
Still do. 

But a few days after the first of this year, 
when I had no plans to choose a new word 
or even think about a word for this year,
a word came to me as I walked the dog through the snowy woods:

I could tell immediately, after the word appeared in my mind and got into my blood stream and flowed throughout my body,
that it was the right word. 
That is was exactly the word I need. 

It may seem like a strange, even inappropriate, time to be bold. 
After all, we’re in such turmoil 
because of this fifth, and rather unanticipated, wave of Covid-19. 
But like my writing process, 
I trust what comes to me, one word or many.
I accept and I follow. 

Once the word takes hold, it presents its opportunities quickly. 
On Sunday afternoon, I realized a part of my sermon from that morning 
would be appropriate to share in a national church group, 
and even though I was nervous about sharing my work
(as I’m an ever-conscious of not having a theological degree)
even though I hesitated,
I said to myself, “Be bold,” and pressed post. 

After all, what’s the worst that could happen? 
That’s the question that comes along with the intention to be bold. 
When you hesitate, ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” then do it. 
Say it. Write it. Paint it. Sing it. Build it. Share it. 

Being bold does not mean
being reckless
or fearless. 
Being bold means
being authentic
and honest
and not worried about what others think about
who you are
what you say
and how you express yourself. 

The world needs more of us
to be bold
in our living
in our speaking
in our faith 

What’s the worst that could happen?

~ SJ


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