I really appreciated the One Word 2011 thing more than I ever could have expected last year. I figured I would give it another run this year, but something funny happened. The word that has really hit home with me is not an English word at all. The word anavah is a Hebrew word that recently crossed my path courtesy of a blog post I read a couple of weeks back. The simple “one word” meaning of the word anavah would best be conveyed as humility, but the word carries more depth than that really. As I read the post, a chord was struck by this simple idea that defines this term as he paraphrased the concept from another source:
Humility is occupying our proper space, neither too much, nor too little.
I have given this a lot of thought over the last few weeks. My initial thought was that I struggle with pride, but the more I considered this, the more I think it is the opposite. I am uncomfortable taking pride in the talents that God has given me and the gifts that he has blessed me with as well. I took stock of the times that I can remember when people have commented on these things and I have developed some “stock answers” that are essentially holy sounding deflections to avoid the issue.
I realize that I am not the first person to grapple with this concept. Maybe there have even been songs written about it. I am not sure what this word will look like for me in the year ahead. But I am ready to embrace it.
It shows up in this passage from Zephaniah 2:3:
3Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land,
who do his just commands;
seek righteousness; seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden
on the day of the anger of the LORD.
The word humility in this verse is the Hebrew word, anavah, and we are told to seek it. So that is what I plan to do this year, seek anavah and what that looks like in my life of faith on the journey following the Master. Thanks for sharing in it with me.