Live with Intention

“Live with intention” is the first sentence in an inspirational writing by a woman named Mary Anne Radmacher (……isn’t the internet amazing?). I had first heard this quote from a Pastor on a Christian radio program. I thought -‘wow, that is the most profound thing I’ve heard in a long time.”  But actually Ms. Radmacher coined the phrase and you can read it on her blog.

I’ve repeated it in several instances to people in the midst of a crisis of their own design. One young person was thrown together with me at the last minute to cover a trade show for work. He was a new employee, who had missed three weeks of work with hardly an explanation. I was surprised to learn that he still had his job, and there we were stuck together for the day.

He revealed to me that he had an addiction to prescription pills, and was taking them liberally. With a new born baby in the house hold, and his job in peril, he asked me, “What should I do?”

“Live each day with intention. You have a little baby that will look to you every single day as an example. You have no idea how fortunate you are to have landed in our company. That was not by mistake. Live each day with intention.” I replied alluding to the fact that one of my bosses was a Christian, the other long recovered from addiction as well.

He looked at me blankly, and then starred at his hands in his lap.

The implication of the words, “Live with intention”, are huge. It implies that we have a choice each day, that we are captains of our own lives.  That in itself seems widely impossible; when  you consider no matter how dissatisfied with our jobs- we still need to show up in order to pay the mortgage. It seems widely impossible when you look up and find that you are suddenly alone, or that the rage you swallow is the result of someone else’s monstrous behavior.

Carving out time to explore what we are capable of is difficult. I find that when I get home from work, I have enough energy to walk through my garden exactly once and pet the cat. That’s it. What I’d really like to be doing with my day versus what I have to do to contribute to the household-two different things.

I think that learning what your intentions are is critical. Fulfilling your own intentions with things that amuse us or help others are usually two different things. Sorting out what you intend for the next hour, the next day and your life…..difficult.

For help with this we can see what God expects of us.

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself

                                                                               Luke 10:27

Well, that sums it up.

Examine whose intentions you are willing to live for? The Lord’s? Your own? Your bosses?

And examine in a perfect world what would be the best outcome? Who would benefit the most? Others? Yourself? Where would your peace come from? Where would it rest? In your heart?

God says in his word, that we are chosen by Him. We are under His guidance and care. With that powering our intentions, we are ready to face the day, and relinquish it to Him.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you

                                                                       John 15:16 

That young man I sat with at the trade show didn’t work for us after that day. A few months later I received a very telling and scary letter from the IRS inquiring of his employment. I felt sad that his life seemed fraught with difficulty. We soon heard through the grapevine that his wife was expecting another child.

Another year went by and one day he visited us on the farm. I was shocked to see him. He stopped to speak with each employee, and made his way back to my boss’ office. We chit-chatted with him, and then he revealed his true intention: to apologize for his behavior, and ask forgiveness. It was obvious that he was in program as this is one of the 12 step requirements. I was so thrilled to witness this milestone. I know it wasn’t anything I said at all, but it was a great example of the dichotomy of our choices and their outcomes.

That day he intended to make things right, and he did.

Father God,

I want to be a good representative of you, I pray that others will see You in me. Let the fruit of your spirit be the dominating characteristics of my life. I give my life to your service Lord. Help me make the right choices so that I may be fulfilled and fulfill your intentions for my life.


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