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2014: The year of the Wolf


posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , , , , , , ,

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I see a community of warriors coming together, protecting each other, enduring together, moving together, building one another up and being loyal to each other.  A community going through life together, while also reaching out to others.


 
2014.

A new year.  A new vision.  A new focus.

And a new word.

2014:  It is the year of the Wolf. 

I have a word for the year ahead and it came from one of those perfect God-appointed moments that we write about.

Wolf.

Wolf is the word for 2014.  And it is a beautiful thing.

Let me tell you the story.

I have to start by saying that one of the highlights of this trip to B.C. is going shopping together as a family.  Paul is normally allergic to shopping (he gets a bad case of the yawns--a well-documented reaction) but a trip to the mall here is a tourist excursion, seeing that the mall itself (and this is just one of the malls in Victoria) is about ten times as big as our local mall in New Plymouth and that the shops are all different with new and exciting things in them for sale.  Very new and exciting things for sale.  So exciting in fact, that Paul has appointed himself as keeper of the cash.  No impulse buying allowed.  Strict orders.

On our most recent shopping trip, buying shoes for Paul I might add, I walked past a booth of jewelry in the centre of the mall and stopped dead in my tracks.  I saw a beautiful thing and impulse buying or no, I had to have it. 

But of course, the keeper of the cash kept walking.  “Stop!” I shouted and quickly beckoned and waved to the keeper and pointed to the beautiful thing on the case.  The keeper stopped but shook his head with deeply furrowed and disapproving brow.  I had to resort to my most pleading and imploring look in return.  And I did not budge.

Eventually he joined me and looked at the beautiful thing with me. 

“It’s perfect,”  I pointed out.

“Do you need it?”  said the ever-practical keeper of the cash.

“It is not a matter of need…” (when is it ever?), “but a matter of right.  It is right. And it is a beautiful thing.”

And the keeper agreed.
 

The beautiful thing which was just so perfectly right, in the same way that my koru was right sixteen years ago, is a sterling silver pendant carved by Brent Campbell, a local artist of the Kwa’kwa’ka’wakw Nation.  The carving etched on the silver represents the Wolf.

The Wolf is the symbol for family, togetherness, endurance, and loyalty.

So Wolf is the word for 2014 and I shall wear my pendant to remember that this is the year that I focus on family, togetherness, endurance and loyalty.  I have already learnt what these things mean in my life, so the new year will be the out-pouring of all that I have learnt as I forge ahead with whatever God-appointed vision and ministry comes my way.  And I won't be alone.

I won't be alone because the wolf is a pack animal.  I picture myself amongst other wolves, all protecting each other, moving together, relying on each other and being loyal to each other, going through life together.  A wolf keeps itself warm by huddling together with other wolves.  A wolf puts out a call to others in his pack and they hear it and they heed it.  They recognise the call and trust what they hear.  They are united in purpose.

And the wolf is also a warrior.  The wolf is courageous.

Of course, another word for Wolf comes to mind, a word that encompasses all that this picture represents: community.  This is the year of community.  I see a community of warriors coming together by God's design, protecting each other, enduring together, moving together, building one another up and being loyal to each other.  A community going through life together, whilst also reaching out to others.  A community that is not exclusive but authentic and vulnerable towards itself and others, step by courageous step.  A community that is not inward focused or outward focused but focused on Jesus, determined to "press on towards the goal" (Philippians 3:13-14) together, always taking their lead from Him. 

Last night my family had the privilege of joining a community for their New Year's Eve celebrations.  Eight adults and twelve children shared a meal, played games, laughed like crazy and toasted the new year together. 


 
 
 

This community already has traditions and memories together.  And they included us.  Because we are their community too and will continue to be so, even when we are back in New Zealand.  And in New Zealand another authentic and vulnerable community awaits us.  People who have chosen to do life with us.  It is a beautiful, organic community of people who build each other up, protect and sometimes challenge each other.  And I have more community in other parts of the world, people who move alongside of me even though the oceans separate us.  Communities doing life together.

Community takes courage.  Now is the time to be courageous.

It is the year of the Wolf.  Let's be warrior-wolves together, courageously living in community.

The year of community.

It is a beautiful thing.

And it is right.

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