8/17/2011

Living Intentionally

Part of my Life Group, meeting at my house.
I just finished reading Francis Chan's bestselling book, Crazy Love, as part of my adoption focused Life Group, 1:17. Crazy Love touched upon very similar themes as the last few books we've read as a group, The Hole In The Gospel, Fields of the Fatherless, and Radical. The premise of ALL these books is that if you say you love and follow Jesus, how can you NOT live compassionately, sacrificially, and missonally. If you truly love Jesus you have got to take what He says to heart about caring for the poor and oppressed and not living for our own comfort and safety.

It's so very ironic and utlimately counter-cultural to our cozy, comfortable version of Americanized Christianity. Sure we go to church, we go to Bible studies, we pray, we learn how we're supposed to love our enemies. But somehow we completely ignore the kind of faith Jesus calls us to, the kind of trust that he demanded of his disciples, and the cost of following Him. We want to make Christianity seem easy and appealing to the masses but the reality is that Jesus calls us to anything but an easy life full of blessings. When He said that He came so that we might know "life abundantly" He did not mean a healthy happy family in a big house in suburbia and retirement in a beach house somewhere. Read the gospels straight through and that's pretty obvious. Fulfillment comes when we are find our calling and answer it, serving others without concern for ourselves keeping our goal on bringing glory to His name.

On Monday night at our Life Group meeting we talked about what living like that looks like. It doesn't necessarily mean selling our big houses and living with the poor, ala Shane Claiborne...although that MIGHT be it for some of us. It doesn't necessarily mean moving to China or Indonesia to bring the forbidden word of God to the Muslims or Buddhists...although that MIGHT be it too and we ought not write it off too quickly.

What it does come down to though, is living intentionally. Living every day with the mission of Jesus to love and serve the least in mind. Greeting and treating EVERY person you come across as if you were speaking with Jesus Himself. Going out of our way to serve people that most of society totally overlooks.

This whole entire blog is about living intentionally, when it comes down to it. If you read my About Me page and my elevator pitch you'll see that. But I'm still trying to figure out where God is calling me and what MORE I can do. I've done a whole lot of shifting of my purchasing and budgeting to be able to serve with my finances, but it doesn't feel like enough to me at all. I could write checks to give 90% of my income away and it would still feel like not enough to me, because my time and talents are more valuable than my money.

All I know is that living intentionally is about lining up your daily actions with your values system and it creates a life that is wholly stress-free and fulfilling. Annie Dillard wrote "the way we live our days is the way we will live our lives" and I couldn't agree more.

Whatever you do, don't let life just happen to you. Make small changes to be proactive. Get yourself off of auto-pilot. You'll be eternally grateful. It's so worth it.

1 comment:

Sarah Hubbell said...

The small group that meets in my home just hit on the thought that we need to be pursuing an INTENTIONAL life. Do you know of any printed material/study/video that could help us dig deeper into living intentionally?

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