Word for the Year 2024: Walk

For a number of years I have chosen a #wordfortheyear and it has been a great exercise for me. I mostly read and study it. My word generally becomes noticeable in my reading during the year prior. Starting last June I had a couple of different words in mind, but by September I was pretty firmly sure my word for 2024 would be walk.

It just fit in so many ways – I had fallen off my walking bandwagon some during 2023 and wanted to get back into that habit or routine. I kept running across it in scripture, for example Psalm 119:1-3

Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
    who walk in the law of the Lord!
 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
    who seek him with their whole heart,
 who also do no wrong,
    but walk in his ways!

The bolded words are two of my most recent words for the year seek and keep and the whole passage smacks of judge which was a recent Word for the Year as well. They always stick around once I choose one.

Walk has so many ways to think about it. I’ve noticed in my Bible reading the synonyms and antonyms; body position is constantly mentioned in the scripture as are the ways a body is mobile – step, tread, run, sit, feet on the path, toddle, baby step, mince, stalk, bow, prostrate, strut, wander, trample … these are just a few and we could toss in hike, march, go. On the opposite end we have trip, stumble, slip, stagger, fall, and interestingly trespass.

I was really excited to be making all of these connections early in the year and thinking through them – how the body should and should not be used. I was also excited to be “getting my steps” more regularly again. I felt like things were getting back on track.

One thing I have noted is that the opposite of my word is often emphasized each year. What does it mean to seek or not seek, judge or not judge, keep or not keep.

The Lord has given me the opportunity to not walk.

Over the weekend, I broke my foot. I’m thankful that it won’t require surgery and that as recovery goes, it should be relatively easy but this event was certainly not what I was looking for!

So “not walk.” is turning into an interesting way to think about something that is so immediate and ingrained into our way of life as walking. I am noticing much more – from my sore muscles, to my needyness for the simplest of tasks, to ramps from a parking lot.

Right now I have to allow others to walk alongside me when I’d much prefer to be the walk alongside-er. Going to the doctors office afforded a more expanded view of sidewalk ramps. My extra-tall front stoop became something I had to consider how to negotiate. I sat down on stairs to go down and up into homes – so while I didn’t crawl, I may as well have. I really noticed how the other patients (and their helpers) walked.

My husband ordered a shower chair for me and put it together and all I could think about was how if I were single I would negotiate using crutches and carrying the box into the house, putting the chair together and getting it into the shower. It sounds impossible to me. Having a family makes this so much easier for me.

I’m interested to learn what else the Lord has for me this year of walk. The lessons in January have been eye opening.

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