My word for this year has been “banquet” and for all my good rationale at the start of the year as to why “banquet” would be a rich word to ‘feast’ on in the months to come, I found that I have not really stopped to reflect on this word much since. The cold weeks have taken their toll and blurred together in my memory. Disappointments have crowded into my view of the once hope-filled horizon. The year has not gone as I envisioned it would and my rosy New Year’s vision had lost much of its luster.
I didn’t exactly abandon my “word of the year”, but just gradually quit thinking about it. It is not easy to wake up each morning viewing life as a banquet table of rare opportunities and miraculous provision. So much easier to settle into a more run-of-the-mill-everydayness approach. No longer looking to be delighted and surprised by the gift of an unopened day. No longer rooting out my silent cynicism in order to celebrate the relationships God has placed in my life in all their wondrous complexity and beauty. No longer waiting for water to be turned into wine…
But in these past few days, I have been reminded of my word. The sudden arrival of Spring has brought with it a warmth and giddiness that vibrates in the air around me stirring the heart and awakening my spirit to life again. I am reminded why I chose the word in the first place. A banquet table is a picture of abundance and surprising richness. A true banquet table will usually have a few dishes you have never tried before and it has been lovingly prepared for you in mind. We come to the table to receive His invitation of love lavished upon us. If I choose see each day as a banquet feast waiting to be tasted – each drink and dish specifically chosen for me – then I can turn away from the gloomy voice that says there is nothing special about me or about the day I have awakened to. Instead, I can turn to hear His voice calling me to join Him at the table and receive back from Him my mundane, daily water turned to joy-filled, sparkling wine…
Tis a gift to be simple, ’tis a gift to be free
‘Tis a gift to come down where I ought to be
And when I am in the place just right
I will be in the valley of love and delight
When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend I will not be ashamed
To turn, to turn will be my delight
‘Til by turning, turning, I come ’round right.