One of the many things you should know about me; is that I am almost always reading some new book. I’m an avid reader and always have been since a young age. I have always had a great appetite for reading and literature and still to this day if you look over at my bedside table you will see a slew of books in a neat “Monk-ish” style stack. (ie: Monk, the OCD mystery detective from way back when.)
Because of course, readers are leaders…
And I believe that.
Needless to say reading is where I find perspective and clarity. And in all of these pages of literature, fiction and non, running through my mind-has brought up new seedlings of questions for my own life. Some of the questions I’ve recently been wrestling with is:
-How do I live intentional?
-And what does it look like to be intentional?
-What is intentionally living? And is it relevant in our self-absorbed culture?
-How far will a person go to live a life that is intentional in every relationship to where it bleeds into their day to day lives?
I’m starting to learn that there is beauty in intentional living. I think sometimes we each step out into life with the “intention” of living intentionally and going out of our way to fill the need around us but we somehow come up short. We come up short when we assign “it” as a resolution or another nameless to-do checklist of meaningless tasks that all pile up as merely another thing swelling into our own accolades and triumphs.
Be nice to co-workers today.
Open the door for the elderly.
Get my attitude straightened out.
Intentional is defined by Webster’s as: done on purpose, deliberate. Also described as purposeful, willful, intended, and calculated. As we all know life isn’t measured by “good intentions” but by putting action behind those intentions. When a person dies their legacy is reflected by how they either did or didn’t live intentionally, and what I’ve found is that in one’s passing this is what makes all the difference. When someone leaves a legacy of intentional living we can in turn emanate and learn from their example. I believe that this is what shapes the course of a good life, a life well lived and well loved.
A great Biblical example of someone who lived intentionally is the Proverbs 31 woman. She is regarded as a noble woman, a woman of good character, and one who is diligent in all that she puts her hand to. Her eyes are focused ahead, she is not concerned about what goes on in other households but she dedicates her energy, time, and affection to her home and household. Her every action has purpose.
The Virtuous Wife
10 Who[b] can find a virtuous[c] wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
This means we must live by decision instead of default. Living intentionally is one of the most relevant issues needed for a society that lives anything but. Living on purpose instead of allowing the sludge of anything and everything to sweep us up and cast us from here and there. For us as people who love God that means we have to decide to stand up for God in our homes, in our schools, in our nation. We have to carve out time in our lives to spend with Him. We have to get outside of our doors and serve people who are searching for answers. We have to decide to be a wife or husband that follows God’s leading and direction, a spouse that treats their better half with respect and honor. It means we have to be the best employee our boss has ever had. We have to be intentional in our relationships with family and friends and love people while we are doing it!
When we do that–when we live with intention it bleeds out into every relationship, job, home, and area of our lives. It sets us apart as people who are investors of their time not squanderers or pilferers.
Decide now to live intentionally.