If you have never listened to Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dying, I'll include it at the end of this post so you can. There is a great message in that song, that we should live every day as if it is our last. I am not endorsing going absolutely mad and doing everything you ever thought about doing, like robbing a bank or hijacking an airplane, or killing your coworker! What I believe we need to do is live intentionally. Here are a few ways to live with intention.
1. Remember whose you are. If you are a Christ follower, then everything you do and every choice you make, should be made with the idea in mind that you are His. Whether it be that you are upholding and glorifying Him in the activities you choose, or that your are trusting Him for the difficulty you are going through. We will mess up, that is a given, but even in our mess ups we can remember He is ours and we are His.
2. Live in the present. I am all for planning. Being closer to retirement age, my spouse and I need to be thinking about the future, as well as planning for our eventual end of life tasks. However, we can and do get caught up in the web of worry, thinking so much about the "what ifs" that we miss the beautiful moments that are happening right now. Thinking too much about the future can make a person anxious and fearful, thus depriving them of all the precious opportunities along the journey of life.
3. Find beauty in the ugliness of life. Life is hard, we all would agree with that, but we do not have to let that make or break us. In Ann VosKamp's book 1000 Gifts, she talks about the "ugly beautiful". Read this post from her blog and it gives you an idea of what she is talking about. I love this concept, that we are created for joy and that even though things come wrapped in ugly paper doesn't mean that there isn't a beautiful gift inside. Our part is to be willing to look past the ugliness and see the beauty that He has for us. This can be especially hard when you are surrounded by people who only dwell on ugliness.
4. Remind yourself of His intentions for your life. Get back into the scripture! Over and over He speaks to what our lives should be and can be, if we intentionally let Him be our source of strength and our guide.
"Do no be anxious for anything..."
"Pray without ceasing..."
"Give thanks in all things..."
These verses didn't just happen haphazardly. God included them with the intention that we can live them by His power and might.
Every day comes with a choice. How am I going to live today? Am I going to let life carry me away with its concerns and ugliness or am I going to live with intention, trusting God and finding beauty in each moment?
King Solomon knew that living with intention would make his son a better man. Looking back at Proverbs 3 we can see four things he encouraged his son to do: remember his teaching, don't walk away from kindness and truth, trust in the Lord and do not be wise in his own eyes. We will all live life intentionally if we can remember those four things.