How does one go from living life by default to living life intentionally?
This is a small part of the journey God has had me on for the last several years and wouldn’t it be nice if one could flip a switch and it would be a done deal? One day you’re living life always coming from behind, always playing catch-up, trying to survive, letting life happen to you and the next you’re blind-sided by the realization that one can’t stay on this track and get to where one wants to go. Really, the road doesn’t go there. And you can’t go back to “unknowing” the truth of the matter, because ignorance really is bliss sometimes and now the bliss is over and the journey takes over.
It is on this new road that I’ve come to understand a few things that I know I really want in life.
I want my life to reflect the Glory of God and to be full of the grace of God overflowing to those around me. I want to live worship (as a state of being) to the only True God as a way of life – not something I do only when I get some free time or set aside time or on a Sunday morning.
I want to live life in the fullness of God’s plan for me and my family, not just giving God and my family not much more than left-overs. I want to walk in the gifts God has given me and multiply them, not bury them in the ground because I’m afraid to do what I have to do to make room in my life for the more important things I know I have to do.
How does one do this at all when life is spinning out of control and everything is all twisted up like so much yarn in a tangled mess? How to begin to untangle what I thought was important and to put in order what really matters? How to untangle that ball of yarn and roll it back up properly, in the order it was meant to be?
This is what I’m still trying to figure out. How do I do this? How to unlearn un-discipline (is that a word?) and selfishness and idolatry and yes-syndrome (I totally made that up) and distrust of God and you get the picture – the list is endless. It feels like I’ve been in this struggle so long and it’s hard to see progress but I must remember that it’s when I look back that I am able to see the progress, not when I look forward at what must still be accomplished.
The Apostle Paul says in Romans 12 that a person is transformed by the renewing of his mind and I know this and yet, I don’t know this. I know, and still I forget and when I do remember I have no idea what this looks like practically in my everyday life. What DOES it look like? How to renew something as old and brain-washed as my mind? How to replace the lies that have been part and parcel far too long? How to learn new habits and become a new person?
All I know right now is that I desperately need the grace of God and I am so grateful for that grace as He patiently pursues me and helps me untangle the mess and brings clarity to the hows and whats of renewal. And I know it is the Spirit of God living in me that continues to show me on a daily basis – and sometimes on a “minutely” basis – what that could begin to look like. The other thing I know is that I need forgiveness now more than ever because I often (usually) don’t get it right.
One other thing I know is that surrendering to truth is very important in the renewal process – and let’s not forget that it is indeed, a process. But the truth is, the truth hurts sometimes, and sometimes it hurts a lot, but I’m committed. Yes, this is a sermon I’ll be preaching to myself many times in the coming days. That I am committed to embracing the pain in finding and knowing truth, wherein I will find freedom – freedom from the brain-washing and freedom from the slavery to the lies.
In the freedom and in the untangling, I am hopeful that a life lived intentionally may begin to emerge.