Life is filled with good intentions. From the recent New Year’s resolutions made earlier this year to the stakes placed in the ground as I work toward some well-intentioned plan that rests just outside my grasp. Good intentions can inspire me. Unfortunately when left alone, a good intention simply remains an idea. Sure, the well-meaning thought may be great to warm the heart and to make me feel good about myself for a bit; but with no action behind the idea, the intention stays a thought. An intention never accomplished.
Living with Intention
Have you ever become so busy doing something that you have forgotten the true reason you do it? Within the various responsibilities of family and home as well as the many requirements at work and even the volunteer activities slated for church, I can easily catch myself going through the motions. I give attention to the work needed without much forethought to the reason behind the work. Repetition within these demands for our attention can easily overshadow the purpose behind the “why” we do what we do. This can quickly lead to some powerful emotions of frustration, aggravation, and even resentfulness. Paying attention to the intention is key. Image credit: Creative Commons via Arnel Dollosa (Flickr)
How to Live with Intention
How would my attitude change if….
…before I start to work on the growing list of my honey-do items, I pause briefly to remember the core intent of the action: to love and serve my wife, who requests some improvement on the living conditions of our home. Suddenly, my attention needed to apply a layer of paint over the smoked-stained mantle takes on more importance.
…while driving to the office to face a day of exhausting demands, I interrupt the knee-jerk thoughts of resentfulness with focus on an purposeful intent of my role for the day: to serve my clients and to genuinely interact and encourage my colleagues. My drivetime to the office would surely become more tolerable (even enjoyable!) as I prepare to face the day ahead of me.
…upon returning home after the end of a stress-filled work day; tired and spent, I recognize the deep need within my three-year old to be with “Daddy”. My arrival home would surely become more enjoyable for everyone as I quickly change shoes and head outside to play superhero in the backyard before the sun sets.
Without intention, my life can become a busy list of activities and assignments that cloud my view of purpose. Focused intent can burn through the fog to display my purpose – a life lived with purposeful intention toward my family, my work, and my church. Today, may I consciously begin to live life more intentionally and work to give attention to those greatest values in life.
Life matters, so live it.
image credit: Creative Commons image via Arnel Dollosa (Flickr)