I believe I have the best One Word there ever was. If there is a word that trumps all other words, this is it. I’ve had five other One Words, all them life altering. But this word, this one takes the cake.
This word came to me when my friends and I were on spiritual retreat together (read to the end of this post to find out how you can do a spiritual retreat too). In our vulnerable conversations, we shared how we were doing, how we were struggling, what we were longing for. In our different ways, we all expressed the same thing. We wanted peace. But that didn’t feel like the right word. Peace literally means “an absence of conflict.” We wanted more than that.
And that’s when the word came… “Shalom.”
It sparked something deep in me. Like a true word nerd, I then spent my solitude time during the retreat digging into word studies, discovering that this Hebrew word is exactly what I was longing for. In fact, it’s what everyone everywhere is longing for.
Shalom is most often translated into English as the word “peace”, but it actually is translated as dozens of English words. Let me give you a sampling: wholeness, fulfillment, contentment, harmony, rest, prosperity, well-being.
Simply put, shalom is “the way things ought to be.” It is God’s intent for us. It is what we were created for. It’s what Adam and Eve had in the Garden. It’s what was lost to us in the Fall. It’s what is restored to us in Jesus. It’s what God is restoring to the world through us. And it’s what we will experience forever in eternity with God.
Cornelius Plantinga says, “The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom.”
My goal is not to convince you to change your One Word. I think your One Word is part of shalom, because shalom is the fulfillment of our every true desire.
What I do want to do is invite you to go deeper with your One Word through a unique opportunity. Remember how I said my One Word came to me during spiritual retreat?
That’s often how it works. Either my new One Word finds me during a retreat or my current One Word takes on surprising new meaning for me while I’m on retreat.
I’m curious if that’s true for you. How many of you regularly go on spiritual retreat? How does that time affect your One Word?
What if you could experience a spiritual retreat that comes to you? You can do it anywhere in the world. Just find a spot to retreat. Do it by yourself as a personal retreat or gather some friends and do it together.
Here’s a sneak peak of what this year’s retreat will hold. And can you guess the theme?
Included in this retreat:
Retreat access will be April 18 – May 28. Join Velvet Ashes’ global community April 26-28.
While this retreat clearly has women in mind, men are also welcome.
We would love to have you enjoy this spiritual retreat experience. Check out more details and register here:
Do you see your One Word being part of shalom?
I’d love to know how many of you practice spiritual retreat or are interested in it. What does that time look like for you?