I’m not much of a planner. It’s more natural for me to hope for the best, let things happen, and react in the moment. A lot of people can’t imagine life like that. I’ve even been told that such a lifestyle is sinful. I could make a pretty solid case for the validity of this mode of living. But that is not my intention today. However, even within the structureless structure of my life, there is room for a plan. God has been showing me lately that I need to cultivate a little intentionality in my life. I need to be intentional about my intentions.
What do I intend to do with my life? How do I intend to spend my time? If I’m going back to school, then why? If I’m working in manufacturing, then why? Those are the sorts of questions that I need to answer for myself. And I can’t yet give a good answer to many of them. And, of course, there are more questions that need answering of which these are just a sample.
But I do know of some other things in which I know absolutely what my intentions are. I intend to surrender myself completely to God, his Word, and his will. Everything else falls in beneath that. I intend to read his Word and spend time in prayer daily. I intend to speak in a way that glorifies him. I intend to live as though I hate sin the way that he hates it, and love people the way he loves them.
But when I create such a list, I must confess that some parts of my life don’t line up practically with my intentions. And that is the problem, isn’t it? What can be done about that? Well, that is what I mean about being intentional with my intentions. When I see a part of my life that doesn’t match up with what I am going for, then some practical changes might be in order. It helps me to have reminders. Here is an example: I am a generally mean person. But being generally mean is not living as though I love people the way that God does. So I started carrying a tin of skittles around in my pocket. Now, whenever I think of something mean to say or do, and I don’t act on that thought, I give myself a skittle. I believe that’s called positive reinforcement.
Anyway, I’m about out of lunch break. But for the remainder of my workday, I intend to think of answers to those unanswered questions, as well as practical reminders for those unfulfilled intentions.
I didn’t realize I was so far behind in making the one a day compilation posts.
I’m behind in my task of “processing” Ghana. I guess I’ve had a lot to do that seemed more urgent. I still do, actually. But I am going to take some time out to make a small step forward in that. I like lists, if you haven’t noticed. Here is a list I compiled in Ghana of phrases I saw written mostly on trucks, but also on things like shirts and buildings. It’s just a little piece of Ghana that I brought home with me. Continue reading
After a brief interval of travel and uncertainty, life has settled into another new version of normal. One a Day pictures have resumed as of today.
I got a new job this week. This news has led to a fair amount of confusion among those around me. I don’t mind answering questions, but I thought it might be best to answer a larger audience all at once. So, here’s the deal…
A dog yelped, drawing my attention. It stood on a wall, its leg wrapped up in the chain leash around its neck. Something struck me as odd about the scene. After a moment’s consideration, I realized it was the first dog I’d seen chained up in Ghana. There was another at the end of a rope laying at the bottom of the wall. I looked further and saw a whole group of men standing in a rough circle with about thirty dogs on leashes. “Hey, Jeff,” I said, “there’s the dog market.”