The "I" is for Intentional . . . T.H.R.I.V.E., #8
Change is inevitable, as we are all experiencing . . . but growth? Growth is Intentional.
I guess I am always looking to grow – and if you are reading this, you have some pull that way yourself.
So, what are you aiming at . . . in terms of growth?
What goals have you set before you?
Thinking of words I have known since a child, ‘Without a vision, the people perish1’… ’Aint nobody puts it like the good old King James Version, but then consider this: ‘If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.’2
So, what is God doing? Without a doubt, he is up to something. People are turning, and returning, to God by the bucketload, and while I know he did not cause this strange time, he did allow it and I sure don’t want to waste it. I know people who decide if they are fearful or hopeful depending on what CNN or Fox is reporting. Yuck.
Hmmm . . . I guess I often think in terms of pictures, hence this one. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and remember as a child ‘putting’ our 16 ft. inboard/outboard boat in the water at the Grand Street boat ramp in Alameda. We would idle slowly out of the estuary, (the artery of water between Alameda and Oakland), and out into the Bay. Immediately upon hitting open water, we hit waves – usually big ones. No longer sheltered by buildings on either side but opened to a wide expanse, the wind hit us full in the face, and we hit rough water. The closer we got to the Bay Bridge, the larger the swell. Unless my dad steered the boat with Intention, we were tossed about - to the extent that it was downright dangerous at times... except, he was steering with forethought and Intention.
This has immediate application for all of us right now in this Covid-19 quarantine. We no longer have our gatherings—social, educational, professional or spiritual—to prop us up or keep us from being thrown about in open water. If we are to be strong, if we are going to make it on rough water, it will call for us to BE Intentional. And, if we are to THRIVE in rough water and come out the other side of the Bay Bridge in great shape—i.e., if we are to be a better, stronger person when this quarantine is lifted, we need to have forethought and intention.
By deliberate intention, I get up every morning, grab my cup of Peet's caffeinated elixir and sit down in my usual chair to spend time with God. In order to guard from distraction, I do two important things:
->gather what I need beforehand (i.e., Bible, journal, pen) and then
->write my prayers in Moleskine journals so as to tame the squirrels running through my mind.
I am intentional about making sure my prayer time is a dialogue not just a monologue. Today, I started by asking God what was on his mind, as he looked down on this creation of his, running amok. I pictured him literally looking down at his children, in particular - that’s you, that’s me, Christian - and here is what I know. God wants you and me to be sharing the love and peace of Christ with others DAILY. We have the answer to peace, the key to wisdom, the assurance of today and the hereafter . . . how selfish, how irresponsible, how unkind, not to throw a lifesaver to a drowning person near us! And might I add, how disobedient. We recall that Luke captured some of Jesus’ last words from the Mt. of Olives, when he said, ‘you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’3
A witness simply tells what she has experienced.
Go ahead - tell someone. Be Intentional. People all around are looking for peace right now.
Structure your day so as to start it with God - in the Word, in conversation with him--be Intentional, Friend.
Let’s come out of this surreal time stronger, better for it, by Intention.