What was your word of the year when you began 2021?
For the Bantau family, the word of the year in 2021 was transition. The end of 2020 fostered a lot of changes for us. Some of the changes were unexpected. Others were very welcome. For a few, it’s still to early to tell.
As 2021 wound down, I began meditating on what word would serve as my word of the year for 2022.
This year I’ve been thinking through several different words. Now I am debating between two choices: warrior or creative.
Commenting on one of my blog posts, a fellow blogger suggested warrior might be a good word for me in 2022. I thought, “Am I a warrior?”
My mom is a fierce pacifist as a result of growing up in a world war. She had her fill of violence at an early age. My dad, all be it stubbornly argumentative at times, was also a non-violent man. I remember growing up seeing my dad frequently wearing one of his favorite shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” My parents focused on teaching me the ways of non-violence. I’m not sure how well they took, but surely something about that mindset stuck.
If you know my mom then you also know that she is a very creative individual who has even won prizes and awards for her artwork. Over my lifetime, I’ve dabbled with music, photography, and writing. I’ve also explored video and theater. I’ve even tried my hand at drawing a time or two. I don’t know if I have ever considered myself to be creative, at least not in the same way my mom is creative.
Am I a warrior?
Warrior is a strong word.
David, the boy who would be king was a shepherd, musician, and a warrior. While others cowered in the shadow of Goliath, David stood tall and firm in his faith. He rested in God rather than relying on himself. This helped him stand tall and slay the giant who threatened his people.
The Apostle Paul says a true follower of Christ puts on his armor and stands firm. He exhorts us to put on our helmet, our shield, our armor, our belt, or shoes before we take up our sword. He reminds us that we are in a daily battle between good and evil.
A quick study of the etymology of my first name—-Rainer—leads to the Germanic Raginheri. The name consists of two parts: Ragin and Heri. Ragin translates into “advice” or “advise.” For it’s part, Heri means “army.” In researching the roots of my name I ran across one resource that defines my name—Rainer—as deciding warrior.
A deciding warrior serves as a vital piece of a campaign because he/she is the detriment factor in whether a battle is won or lost. Deciding warriors are key difference makers that sway the outcome of an endeavor.
What are characteristics of a warrior?
I think of warriors as being persistent, tenacious, and resilient. And I believe that people who know me would affirm these to be attributes I endow.
Am I a warrior? Truth be told I’d love to be more of a shepherd. But in this day and age warriors are needed, perhaps even more so than shepherds.
Am I Creative?
I spend my day leading a team working with the unsheltered homeless people living on the Dallas streets. It’s hard and often heartbreaking work. It’s good also—there are success stories of people reconnecting with family or getting the meds they need to combat the mental illness that’s interfering with their ability to make sound decisions. There’s the satisfaction of knowing we give out hundreds of resources a day and serve thousands of meals per week. It is definitely a gig with lots of highs and lows.
To cope and process all the of this we have monthly trauma meetings and an on-site chaplain. We have counseling readily available to us so we can work through what we see, feel, and experience. When you pull people out of the fire on a daily basis you need help.
In my search of finding a way to process things, I have explored honing and sharpening my creative skills. Writing, photography, and composing music are currently avenues I am checking out and digging into to identify a creative outlet that keeps me sane and combat the aches and pains of a different daily life I see dealing with people living life poorly in America.
So dear reader, which word do you believe I should pick for my word of the year—warrior or creative?
What word will you choose for 2022?
The Devotional Guy™
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