Mar 7, 2013

Life is Change. Growth is Optional.

If you've been reading along, I've been talking about my word for the year, "Abide",  randomly since January.  Click on the button that says "Abide 2013" which is linked to all of the posts on this topic, if you are interested in catching up. 

The name of this post was originally a quote that has been attributed to "Glenda Cloud" but I don't think she really exists, I Googled her and she seems to be either non-existent or just a normal person.  

"Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional."

It's a good quote!  I agree with it wholeheartedly. The law of inertia states that a body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion with a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force. We are creatures of inertia.  We head in one direction (or sit in one spot) because it is comfortable. Unless we are intentionally redirected from that path (or spot), there we will stay.  Growth comes from fighting against the inertia within and moving in a new direction... intentionally connecting with God so we can grow.

I've talked about intentionality before, it's one of those things that gets me all excited.  I believe that the best life lived is one that is intentional.  It's a life lived "on purpose", or a life that is designed or planned.   All of that purpose, design and planning should be directed by God, but it is chosen by us, that's what free will is all about.  

We are created for a purpose.  We don't know how our story will end, but God knows His purpose for us and reveals it little by little, and as it is revealed, we are accountable for what we know. 

The scripture says it this way: "The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey..." {Deut 29:29}

This quote (and title of this post) is another way to look at it:

Life is Change. Growth is Optional.

Friends, I have days where I am weary of striving and just want to sit and do nothing, and I am sure that it's okay to sit still sometimes {even good!!}.  The rest of the time I am moving forward, working toward imperfect progress, striving for excellence.  

Change happens every day (regardless of what I do or don't do). Look at a garden in the springtime: every day there are new seedlings, the plants get bigger, new branches appear and begin producing leaves. As a gardener, I am responsible for intentionally weeding those unwanted seedlings, intentionally pruning back the tree to redirect it's growth, and intentionally dead-heading those spent flowers, so the plant can produce more.  I do these things so my garden grows in the ways I want it to, to leave room for the plants that I want, to remove those that take root and suck all of the nutrients out of the soil.

It is this way in our relationship with God. We need to intentionally prune those habits that take us away from a fruitful life in Him, and we need to intentionally add those habits that create a healthy life, which produces fruit.  If I work on intentionally connecting with God, I will connect with Him more often.  If I want my faith to grow, I need to connect with Him and ABIDE in Him.  Therefore, part of Abiding for me is being intentional about connecting with him.  Practically speaking, the following are the three things I will be doing more to be intentional about connecting with Him.

1. Schedule time to spend with Him every day.  
Recently a bloggy friend {2busy from That's What She Said} posted this great post about the idea of tithing our time.  This is an idea that has been taking root in my heart and mind for awhile.  If I sleep roughly 8 hours {cough, yeah right}, that means that 10% of my waking hours is 96 minutes.  If I add up time in prayer, study and service each day, 96 minutes really isn't too much to ask.

2. Make the most out of my down time.  
We all have those little 2-7 minutes lulls in our days.  Think about all the "downtime" we have: when we are waiting for school to get out, for appointments to begin, for the red light to change to green, even the time we spend in the shower or on the toilet.  What do YOU do with that time?  Most of us *me too* spend that time checking our phones; we read texts, emails, or listen to voice mails.  Some of us take those little lulls to catch up with our FB games like Words with Friends.   What if we were to intentionally spend those moments in prayer?  What if instead of texts we read a verse of the day or a short devotional?  How could that positively impact your day?

3. Become more aware of "God moments"
Every day is positively brimming over with little things, which should remind us of God and bring us into a MOMENT with Him.  Romans 1:20 says "For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse."  God moments can be as simple as a balmy breeze gently brushing the hair back from your face, like a parent caressing His child or it can be as complex as the lyrics of a song that communicates exactly what you needed to hear at that moment.  God is very present every day, we just need to intentionally seek Him to experience Him.

What about you?  What are intentional habits that you have that draw you closer to God? 

Here is the acrostic I am writing through during this series:
Abide - You can read this one where I introduce this SeriesThis one where I whine about how busy I am; or This one, where I talk about Lent  {BY}
Listening More - How to hear God's voice
Intentionally connecting - TODAY's!
Speaking about Him to others
Seeking Intimacy
Allowing room for mistakes

1 comment:

  1. Great post, AJ. Intentionality is so important in connecting with Him. It just isn't going to happen, we have to put in the work and meet him half way. I like the idea of reading scripture or lending my thoughts toward prayer while waiting for the school bus...more little moments that add up to that tithe.


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