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Kenny's Korner- Intentionality

by Kenny Rader

Life is a race

Race? What race? Dragster racing? A relay? Is someone running a race? Yes! You!!!

 

What? You say, “I’m not a race.”

 

Oh yes you are. Life is a race, and you’re in it whether you like it or not.  

Really?

Let’s put it like this. All of us have deadlines. We have doctor appointments, haircut appointments, and other engagements. Those are deadlines because we have to arrive at specific places on time. If you have a job, you have a deadline. You have to be at work at a designated time, or you might have a deadline for completing a task. If you attend school, you have deadlines for assignments or a time when you need to complete a test. Even retirees have deadlines: babysitting, appointments, activities with friends, and etc. All of us have times when it seems we are in a race to get things done before the deadline arrives. 

Back to life’s race

Those are short, daily races, but you and I are in a much larger race of life. We call it Life’s Race because of the multiple deadlines. That’s why we sometimes call it the ‘rat race.’ Don’t we often feel like the mouse in a cage on the wheel that goes round, and round, and round yet we get nowhere. The problem comes when we get so focused on all our deadlines that we forget about life.  

Life

Yes, life. When we’re young, life drags on so sloooowly. A first-grader can't comprehend life as a junior high student because it seems an eternity away. That’s just too far in the distant future. The junior high student only dreams of getting a driver’s license - someday. And a freshman can’t fathom life as a senior in high school. Why do these dreams seem so unachievable? Because life drags on so slowly when we are young.

 

And then college comes and goes. We get a job, marriage, kids, sports, school activities, graduations, marriage of our kids, grandkids, empty nest, and retirement. WOW!!!! And then we turn around and ask ourselves, “Where did life go?”

What did you accomplish?

We should frequently ask that question about life. Anytime we reach a milestone, we might contemplate what we accomplished. We can ask our kids that question as they finish each grade of school. “What did you accomplish this past year?” Better yet, ask them daily, “What did you accomplish today?”

 

We should ask ourselves the question at various stages of life, plus we should ask that question at the end of each year. “What did we accomplish this past year?”

 

So, why are we pointing out this question now? It’s the middle of the year.

That’s the point

It’s the middle of the year. We’re asking this question now because if you don’t know where you’re going today, you won’t know if you arrive tomorrow, next week, or next year. More importantly, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll likely end up going nowhere of any significance or doing anything of value. 

 

When you go on a vacation, you likely know where you’re going. You've probably planned for weeks, months, or even years, and you’ll know when you arrive at your destination. When you went off to college, you planned for that destination, and you had your sights on graduation with a particular degree. When you got married, you likely had some goals in mind: a blissful life with the love of your life, children, a job, a career, grandchildren, vacations, and retirement. But what about all that in-between time?

Time flies

Did you realize this year is half over? We have less than six months until Christmas. Summer just began, yet school will start back up in less than two months, and Labor Day will arrive to mark the official end to summer fun and summer vacations. Wow!!!  Where does the time go? It flies by so quickly!

In the blink of an eye.

You plant flowers in the spring, and before you know it, the fall frost kills them. The farmer plants his crop and in a few short months, harvest arrives. You got married yesterday and tomorrow is your 50th anniversary. Your child is born today and tomorrow they’re leaving home for college. You were healthy as an ox yesterday, and today you’re lying in a hospital bed. All these events happen in the blink of an eye because time flies

Intentionality

So, how do we slow time down? We don't, but we can make better use of our time. How? By living intentionally. The key word is intentionality. 

 

How many of us are reading through the Bible this year? I’ve “intentionally” not asked earlier. We got a little bit of a late start when we introduced reading through the Bible in 2021, so if you weren’t already reading, you had to catch up and then maintain your reading. How are you doing? Are you keeping up? Are you ahead? Maybe already done? If you’re behind, are you within easy reach of catching up? If you’re way behind, are you going to push hard to finish by year’s end? If you’re behind, do you have a plan to catch up? 

Living intentional

The methodology to living intentionally is to have goals and a plan. Do you have a goal?  Can you name it?  Did you write it down? If not, can you name your goal if asked? What is your goal?

 

Do you have a plan? What is your plan toward attaining your goal? Have you written out your plan? If not, can you still tell someone a detailed strategy of how you will achieve your goal?

 

Let’s look at this another way. What have you accomplished this year to date? That is, other than going to work and living and doing the mundane things in life, what have you accomplished thus far toward making your life and the lives of others better? How is your life better today because of what you have attained thus far this year? How have you made others’ lives better because of your accomplishments?

May I?

It doesn't matter how young or how old you are; all of us need to live with intentionality. We need to find worth and value for ourselves, give worth and value to others, and give worship to God. Well, maybe that list is backwards, but you get the idea. We must move forward with some form of achievement to find self-worth and give value to others. God expects this of us. The old saying is true. If we are not growing, we are dying. So, may I offer some advice?

 

Let’s go to the Bible first. The Bible tells us that planning along with hard work reaps rewards.

 

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,

   but the folly of fools is deception.

-Proverbs 14:8 (NIV)

 

3 By wisdom a house is built,

   and through understanding it is established;

-Proverbs 24:3 (NIV)

 

19 Those who work their land will have abundant food,

   but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

-Proverbs 28:19 (NIV)

 

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 

-Luke 14:28 (NIV)

 

So, what are your goals and plans for the year? Maybe they’re short-range, or possibly so far into the distant future that they are not conceivably achievable in 2021, so what do you need to accomplish this year as part of your long-range goals? This is a question of biblical proportion no matter your age.

 

We’re talking about this now because before you know it, 2021 will be gone. It’s already half-over. Can you believe it? So, it’s never too late to begin, even if you’ve not considered your goals and plans yet. Stop concerning yourself with yesterday (unless you use it for motivation to get started today). You know, it’s not too late to begin reading through the Bible this year. You can still accomplish it – as long as you have a plan in place as a guide. 

 

On December 31, 2021, what will you look back and say you’ve accomplished this year that made this year memorable and worthwhile?

Tell someone

Do you need someone to hold you accountable? Do you need an accountability partner to ask how you are doing? Maybe your spouse? Your kids? A friend?  Me? Sometimes we simply need assistance and encouragement to accomplish our goals and carry out our plans. Ask someone to help you or work with you. Someone within your family works great, but friends and many others might also be willing to help.  Maybe they will partner with you. You can each have different goals and still hold one another accountable. 

 

So, let’s get started. It’s never too late to live with intentionality.

 

Love you & God Bless,

Kenny