The Way of Woad? Yes! This is not a misspelling or a mispronunciation of the word road!
You may be wondering what woad is. Woad is a blue dye, which comes from the leaves of a specific plant, the Isatis tinctoria, a member of the cabbage family. It has been grown in Europe since the Stone Age.
You may have heard about this in history lessons. The ancient Britons painted their faces and bodies with woad. It is particularly associated with Boudicca and the Iceni tribe, who used to colour their faces with woad, prior to going into battle.
As we journey through life we encounter a wide range of situations. We attend a variety of events. We find ourselves in many circumstances. All of these can be positive or negative (or a mixture of both!) and they impact our thinking and shape our mindsets.
We may not be painting our faces with blue dye in preparation for going into a battle in a war, but we may be using other strategies and means to cope with the challenges and trials of life.
These challenges and trials should come as no surprise, since after the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples,
And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!” John 16:33 TPT
We could view ‘woad’ as what we put on, either physically or mentally, to present ourselves to the world, in order to be safe and secure or to fight off criticism or to hide anxiety, fear or shame. This could be a conscious or an unconscious choice.
As this year draws to a close, take a moment to reflect and ponder on your ‘woad’:
- What strategies and coping mechanisms are you aware of using?
- Are these still serving you well or is it time to let some go?
- Are there any adjustments to be made or prayed about?
In his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul suggests that we should dress in the wardrobe God has picked out for us. These qualities will serve us well as we travel through life.
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12-14 The Message
With Christmas gone and the New Year almost here you might like to reflect back over the year. The meditations below will help you to do this.
This meditation provides a brief stillness exercise before reflecting back over the past year and looking forward to the year ahead.
It includes an opportunity to consider your current roles, activities and responsibilities and gives you an opportunity to record your responses. You can access it here
This meditation provides an opportunity to reflect back over the year. You can access it here