Living an Intentional Life

I did not blog last week because I was in the middle of reaching my goal to visit all 50 states before I turn 50. Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire were my last 3 before my birthday in March. It felt amazing to reach that goal and it was fun to share it with the people I met along the way who asked why I was visiting their state.

People had lots of questions. Most wanted to know when I set the goal and how long I had been working on it. I was somewhere around 40 when I realized I had been to 30 some odd states. If I was intentional, I realized I could visit the remaining states over the next 10 years.

Which brings me to my new favorite buzzword “intentionality.” Apparently, the college our daughters attend use this word a lot as in “build intentional community” or “show intentionality in the choice of a study abroad program.”

This word resonates with me. My live can too often move too fast and be too full to make intentional/deliberate decisions. Swept away by a packed schedule and too many demands on my time, resources and energy I sometimes land at Point B when I meant to land squarely at Point A.

The life I want to lead cannot happen without intentionality. Starting each day in God’s word means getting up earlier and finding a place to read and journal each morning. Losing weight means attending Weight Watchers meetings once a week and counting my points. Getting physically fit means walking around the lake when I would rather be sitting. Building relationships means setting time aside each week for actual phone conversations and the occasional face-to-face time.

Since God created us “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). And since our time on earth is finite and known only to God. And since we need to make the most of the time we are given. We need to live a life that is intentional.

Intentional in our relationship with God. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” God created us for relationship with him. And as with any relationship it takes time and energy to grow. Time spent daily in his Word. Time in community fellowship with other Christians on a weekly basis. Time in talking to and listening to God.

Intentional in our relationship with others. In verse 39 of Matthew 22 it goes on to say - And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Jesus himself modeled the importance of friendships while on earth. He had a tight inner circle (Peter, James and John), closer friends (12 disciples, Mary, Martha & Lazarus), and an outer circle (Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, Roman Centurion).

And intentional in seeking and following God’s will for our lives. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us that we will find God when we seek him with all our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In what areas are you already being intentional? And in what areas do you need to be more intentional? The next thing I am going to be intentional about? Doing 50 new things in my 50th year that I have never done before!

Precious Father – Thank you for each day that you grant us. May we use it build relationship with you and with the people around us. Amen.