Blue. Green. Cold drinks. Hot Drinks. Chips. TV. Cheering. An oblong shaped ball. Men throwing it around & running after each other. All these words describe a football party. Probably rooting for the local pro-team. What am I describing? A football party. The words I wrote paint a picture and a theme emerges.
Busy. Rushing. Stress. Twelve hour work days. Activities every night of the week. Tense. Short with people. These words describe a person’s life who is very stressed and too busy.
Think about your life. What you hear from others – maybe on the radio, in a sermon, from friends, co-workers, a spouse or family member. Do they sound similar? Is there a commonality between them all. What about the books you are picking up to read? Or blogs. Scripture that resounds with you. Instagram photos. Our lives tend to have themes emerge if we pay attention.
2014 was a year where I felt that God wanted me to learn more about what it means to abide in Him. What was interesting as the year progressed and came to a close and I reflect back I see how He was teaching me that to abide in Him means I must slow down. Rushing and stressing keeps me from abiding. He allowed me to hit rock bottom with my schedule and stress level. When I did He was ready to teach me about slowing down, cutting back, in fact I was blessed with a plate emptied. The choice became would I let Him fill it up or would I fill it up with things to keep me busy.
A couple of lessons that I took away with me from 2014 and I believe will impact my 2015.
One – who I am is not defined by how busy I am or what my job position is.
Two – when I abide in Jesus I find rest, direction, and peace.
Three – God will not waste my pain but loves me so much that He will use it to propel me to action that draws me near to Him and to be a better disciple and witness.
Lastly, one of the biggest take away’s was wanting to make the most of the time I have, not being reactive to life but proactive. Jesus had moved me from a place of surviving to a place of thriving and abiding. The excitement over 2015, it is a new book in the series called life. January is a new chapter within that book. Pages waiting to be written; the question is will life write those words or will I walking with Jesus outline and write was is written there.
As I prayed about what theme 2015 was to have, what did God want to do in me, overarching this year – over and over the word ‘intentional’ came up. Blogs. Sermons. Books I was reading. Conversations. Scripture. Prayer. Every where I turned it seemed, the concept of being intentional was there. Intentional in prayer. Intentional in growth. Intentional in my health. Intentional in what I ate. Intentional is the adjective of intended. Meaning done with purpose or design. (definition taken from Websters 1828 dictionary) Often I have gone through life and I wonder if I am where I wanted, where I had intended to be or had I simply moved where the river of life had taken me.
Colossians 3:17 says “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (NKJV)
Whatever I do – whether words spoken or actions done; it should be purposefully for and in the name of Jesus. When you realize that you are doing something in the name of someone else – there is a thought shift. The responsibility for it to be done right, done well, done to the best of your ability shifts. When it is in the name of someone, someone you respect, admire, want to please you take ownership. Its a subtle but significant difference. We think twice before we say that statement, write that comment, act in a certain way because it is not just us that it reflects on but on that person or organization you represent.
Intentional in all aspects of my life; spiritually, physically, emotionally, relationally, financially.
Intentional in what I activities I choose to be part of.
Intentional with my time.
Do you see a theme emerging for you as you walk through 2015? Do you have a word for 2015?
My word for this year: INTENTIONAL
My verse for this year: Colossians 3:17
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.