“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou understood something about human nature that many people only discover at the end of their lives. So often, our busyness and urge to “git-er-done” trumps our dedication to intentionality with our Heavenly Father and those around us.
Perhaps you’re a mom who needs to run your son to soccer practice, take your daughter to her dentist appointment, pick up groceries for the evening’s dinner, and finish folding the laundry. Perhaps you’re a businessman who needs to prepare a presentation for your employees, peruse the new applicants’ resumes, and finalize the annual inventory sheet all before your 2 o’clock meeting today. Perhaps you’re an incoming college freshman who needs to finish up your summer job, shop for college supplies, pay your fall semester bill, finish the remaining paperwork, and pack up all of your belongings for college in two weeks.
It seems that the older we get, the more we find ourselves with overflowing to-do lists and never-ending responsibilities. Why is it that we cannot find time for God or our friends unless we have finished all of our duties for the day first? Our 21st-century mindsets have molded us into task-oriented creatures of habit. But, we weren’t created for busyness—to jump from one task to another—we were created for intentionality.
Over and over again, we see that Jesus is intentional. Whether letting children flock to him or choosing to heal the sick even when occupied elsewhere, Jesus shows us that intentionality is clothed in compassion and selfless love. Intentionality has eyes of kindness and feet willing to go.
Intentionality sits at the feet of Jesus, even when dishes are piled high in the kitchen and unwashed laundry lays in heaps on the floor. Intentionality takes a friend out to coffee even if that means that the to-do list will have to wait. Intentionality spends time worshipping the King of Kings instead of bowing down to the earthly idols of Facebook and Instagram. Intentionality pays for the person’s meal behind him in line at Subway, instead of rushing out and onto the next errand. Intentionality initiates a one-on-one date with her son or daughter: making sandcastles in the sandbox, roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, holding a tea party for a table of stuffed animals and imaginary friends, or going out to dinner and roller skating. Intentionality writes a letter to his pastor to tell him how much he is appreciated. Intentionality risks looking foolish and offers an encouraging comment to a complete stranger. Intentionality plans a special date night for her spouse solely because she loves him. Intentionality waits expectantly in the secret place for his Heavenly Father to speak.
Ultimately, choosing to be intentional comes from a place of sitting at Jesus’ feet: loving Him and loving others. So, let the phone ring, the errands wait, and the social media rest. Choose to be intentional.