Focus: Fire

I recently found out about the “word for the year” movement (you can find more information on it 


), in which you choose a word that represents an overarching goal or theme for the year (or in some cases, like wands in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the word chooses you).

Even though we are more than half-way through the year, my word (which clearly chose me) has been mysteriously popping up all over the place. I started noticing it as a theme about a month ago, and since then I have seen its mark everywhere.

What is my word, you ask?


Fire is probably not a word I would have chosen on my own. I love looking at fire. I think it’s beautiful. But I’m naturally hot-blooded, so heat and I don’t agree too well. I’d have to say that fire is the element I least identify 

with – water,

 wind, and earth are fine, but I’ve never really considered myself a fiery person. I don’t look at myself and see a conflagration of passion. I see calm, laid-back, easygoing, hesitant to make waves, content to stay in the background.

And yet, this theme of “fire” has been coming up all year. It started, I think, when I first heard Ellie Goulding’s song “Burn.” It really struck a chord with me. It’s kind of been my theme song this year – I’ve posted the video a million places, it seems. I even art journaled the lyrics.

And then I went to a revival service (or, well, services) last week, and the speaker talked about the fire of the Spirit burning us up. And those days were deeply meaningful to me, and I walked away changed, yet again.

And even this week – even today – the word “fire” has cropped up several times. And I keep seeing it. And I don’t think it’s going away. I think this is the message God is trying to tell me: that in order to be complete, fire has to be a part of me. Water (emotions), Air (intellect), and Earth (senses) are all great. But without Fire (passion), those other things are…not all they could be. They’re lifeless.

Fire is what keeps us on our toes. It warms us, makes us run, makes us dance. We celebrate with it. We fear it. It represents the pulse of life, but can also be the sting of death. Fire never stays the same, it is always changing, always moving. Sometimes it grows, blazing, shedding sparks and sending waves of heat shimmering through the air. Sometimes it dwindles, hushing itself into embers and ashes. But still, the light is there.

So for the rest of this year, I’m going to explore the concept of fire in my life, in my soul. I want to see what happens when I light it up, what happens when I set my passion ablaze. Where will my writing go? Where will my faith go? I believe that the flames will only make them wilder and freer.

So I’m going to strike my match and find out.