shadow of intent.
In a few hours I will be boarding a plane for Idaho. Actually, the flight plan is way more specific and involves both Minneapolis and Spokane, but the goal is Idaho. It makes it better that I can’t sleep – so I sat down to go through some things on my desk and read…
“The worker’s appetite works for him for his hunger urges him on.” – Proverbs 16:26
This makes sense, but contrast it with…
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives a prize? Run in such a way that you may win… But I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24, 27
The first is out of need: hunger, and so the goal is to work for food, and the second is out of desire: to win, and everything is filtered through the goal of victory – both are different, but both are just as applicable. Life is easier with goals; this isn’t just a spiritual application, but it helps to make quick sense of everything. However, recently I have been struggling with the concept that most of my goals, if not all of my sacrifices, have been largely centered around me as a way to barter this life. Maybe I am just second guessing my intentions in some areas.
Life is easier with goals; it’s a quick way to filter through information and make sense of things. I’m 27. I am not exactly where I thought I’d be, and a million miles from where I’d like to be. I’m learning to break down things into smaller pieces and make smaller goals for now that lead into larger goals for later – the more I focus these the more I can get the big ticket items out of my mind – that is, I can let go of control of them. I filter my life through the joy of the Lord but I am accepting it with the needs He has placed in my life as well.
“I think I’m completely comfortable with Jesus demand that I be a servant… until somebody actually talks to me like one.” – Jonathan Martin
When I do what’s right in order to be right, I am laying the foundation for a heart of self-righteousness and bitterness. I become self-righteousness as I believe my actions are what make me right or wrong, and find grace difficult to understand, or apply to myself when I fail my own standards. I become bitter because guess what? My standards don’t change anything and – rise or fall – life goes on. When my goal is myself and how I feel about my circumstances and life, then it becomes easy to feel put out and betrayed when my expectations are frustrated, but when my goal is to bring glory to Jesus, then people can’t touch me, or damage me, or offend me. I find enough grace to not only cut myself slack, but to give it away.
Specifically, I’m working out something much larger in my life, but I don’t want to be specific because I’m trying to get the conversation moving toward the kingdom of God in this world and hopefully something can apply to your life – not to use this as a place where I can complain about whatever.