my new favourite word for 2020…

Yesterday I was reflecting on a word, and an idea: steadfast.

It’s not just that I pick some random word to think about, fun though that may sound, but that the word came up in a bible reading I was reflecting on for a work meeting (to put that in context…I work for a church).  The reading was from Psalm 107, and the critical line goes something like this:

                O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever

Ps 107:1

It’s probably not a word that we use all that often in modern English – steadfast.  I don’t reckon I’ve ever used it in conversation.  As I thought about it, I started by just wondering what comes to mind when I hear the word.  Steadfast. Safety in a storm. Holding ground in the face of a challenging time. Trustworthiness. Reliability.

They’re not super exciting concepts. They’re not the words of the day like pivot and innovate and lean-in, and “you’re on mute”.

But the more I thought about this notion of ‘steadfastness’, and particularly ‘steadfast love’ the more I felt like perhaps it should be the word for 2020.

In a year when everything seems messed up, when our whole world changes on what feels like a daily basis, when bad news seems like it’s just a press conference away, there’s something important about steadfast.

Steadfast is one of those words that almost means something like what it sounds (I looked it up – words like that are called ‘onomatopoeia’).  Solid. Trustworthy. Reliable.  Dependable. Unwavering.

The Psalm of course is about God’s steadfast love, and the notion that God stands ready whenever we are lost and turn toward God.  And to me that matters. Maybe also to you if faith is your thing.

But even if faith is not your thing, I wonder if the idea, the notion, the challenge of being steadfast is still worth thinking about. 

Who can you or I be steadfast for?  Who can we be reliable for? Trustworthy? Dependable?  In a year like 2020…who are the family members, friends or neighbours who just need a little bit of steadfast love?

I’m still not sure I’ll use it in conversation, but steadfast is my new word for 2020.


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