March 5, 2012 - Radical Hope

As I was driving to work early in the morning, I noticed two drivers ahead of me that didn’t seem to be paying attention.

I was in the center lane—one of them was in the far left lane, one in the right. Without warning, they both began drifting into the center lane ahead of me, moving closer and closer to each other.

They did not look, use a turn signal, or have any idea they were endangering each other. I flashed my lights to warn them, but they didn’t seem to notice. As they lightly collided, they were astonished to discover each other. Pulling to the side of the road they sorted everything out—no one was injured.

As I continued on toward work, I thought about how often we move through life unaware of our surroundings. At times we seem to have blinders on instead of paying attention to what is going on around us in order to have a positive impact instead of a collision.

Of course, most of us would never consider driving unaware of what is taking place in our close proximity. So why do we make important decisions based solely on our own needs instead of those of others?

The key to safe driving and the key to forward living is the same—strategy. The drivers above had no strategy whatsoever. They weren’t even paying attention to where they were on the road, which had a direct bearing on whether or not they had an accident. Even if we go for a leisure drive with no idea where we are headed, we still have a strategy.

In our Christian walk it is not only reckless to wander through life without a strategy—it’s irresponsible. We are expected—required to be intentional as we have the potential to dramatically affect those around us.

The impact on others will be positive or negative—and profound. There is no neutral ground—we will have an impact.

The concept of intentional living is not new, but in the secular world it has centered on accumulating wealth, career success, and personal accomplishment. Living within our means and setting goals are not bad things, but perhaps if our focus was upon helping others see Christ in us, we would be even more gratified.

As we develop our strategies, or perhaps alter current strategies, it would be appropriate to be intentional in impacting others around us—positively. We are built that way, designed that way—to help others and encourage them. To be there in their time of need, and most of all—show them Christ. It has an eternal impact.

Question: What does intentional living look like to you?