During worship on January 12th we were invited to draw a Spirit Word for the year, a word to reflect upon and ponder how it impacts our lives (or perhaps how it could do so). I drew the word EXTRAVAGANCE, which is now hanging with the calendar in my office.
Now what might that mean?
A few early thoughts...
How is God extravagant? As people of faith we proclaim the extravagant grace, love, and mercy of God. God gives prodigiously and extravagantly. Pondering the word calls me to think about where I have been the recipient of the extravagance. This leads me to reflect on how I am blessed. Hopefully it leads me to a place of deep gratitude.
How are others extravagant? Where do I see people giving prodigiously and extravagantly to me and to others? This is one of the places I see God’s extravagance in action. Hopefully looking for this pushes me to not only recognize it happening but comment on it. Again a practice of gratitude.
How am I extravagant? How could I be extravagant? A place of challenge perhaps, a place to push myself to be more generous, more merciful, more gracious. Maybe I do a better job of avoiding political debate on social media? Maybe I push myself to be more patient with my children? Maybe I find time to do different things this year?
There is another side to extravagance. I think of the show biz term of extravaganza. An extravaganza is showy, fabulous, over the top. Where do I see that sort of showiness in life? Where do I see the need for more of it? An extravaganza is often less than serious, sometimes even frivolous. Where do I see that we need to be more frivolous in the world? Something to watch for over the year. And then maybe something to help shape my choices.
Who knows what else pondering extravagance will bring me this year?