Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Little Word: 2011

Last year I stumbled upon the idea of selecting one word for the year.

And that little word changed my perspective. My word for 2010 was Thankful, and just thinking about it in the back of my mind changed how I looked at the good, and the bad. I realized just how blessed I am... and that usually I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

This year, my word kind of chose me. While reading scriptures one night it almost jumped off the page. And then when I mentioned it in one of my Young Women lessons, my wonderfully spiritual President gave me the following story, and I knew what my word for 2011 was:

Malachi 3:3 says "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver..."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all of the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

"He smiled and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."
So.. this year I'm going to work on refining me: inside and out. The dictionary says that to be refined is to be pure, elegant, free of impurities, and course or unsuitable characteristics. Man. I've got a long way to go. Here's to a year full of improvement!

Will you join me? What word will you choose?

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