HABITS vs. INTENTIONALITY

Hey friends, how are you today? How was your weekend? Spring continues to ‘spring’ in our neck of the woods although it’s still a bit chilly.  The neighbor’s yard is filled with the vibrant colors of yellows, whites, and purples of the tulips as they bloom.  

The squirrels are busy as they ‘squirrel’ away their stash of fresh food or sometimes, they are so loud as they quarrel with each other because their stash is now a bit smaller than the next friend.  

The birds chirp, early each morning, to remind us to spend time with the Lord.  They share with each other the beauty in the sights of their travels.  They tell each other of the greatness and mercy of God. They warn each other, as the day breaks with dark, dreary, gloomy clouds, against the busy that may be brought on by anxiousness of the future.  They remind each other of their Great and Mighty and Loving God.  

Last week I had an epiphany. It was a rather profound moment for me, as you can imagine.  As a matter of fact, I was a bit surprised at the predicament in which I found myself.  It was rather unexpected; I did not see it coming; my fault really. I blinked; you see.  I was not intentional, I allowed habits to guide my footsteps and so I failed to see the log, placed in my way to perform its task.  That task was to trip me and that, my friend, was very much for my own good.  The trap that I allowed myself to fall into was that of busyness.  

How is that even possible, with all the restrictions put in place for our protection, during this time? Believe me, it’s possible.  I found out that what I had done was simply exchange one busy for another kind of busy.  This busy ensured that I did not even have to leave the comfort of our home.  Now I had the time to complete all the unfinished projects. Now I have the time to clean and declutter and reorganize. We started with the kitchen, living room and bedrooms and then went on to the attic and basement. And let’s not forget the pantry and closet and every other nook and cranny. 

The busyness continued, when really what the Lord desired was my attention all this time.  I was busy before the coronavirus disrupted our way of life as we know it.  Habits were slowly making its way into my life again.  Now don’t despise habits (good ones, that is). We do need to get into the ‘habit’ of our devotional time.  Our time spent with the Lord should always be given priority, and these are good habits to cultivate and to teach to our kids. Going to church, saying ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ are also good habits.  Habits are a necessary and needful part of our every day lives.  But habits do not necessarily bring along growth of our lives, intentionality does that. 

Intentionality does not put a time limit on our devotions.  Intentionality seeks and surrenders, while habits get a job done.  Habits complete tasks without thought, rather by instinct.  Habits are handy and are usually  time savers.  Although habits do not bring growth, nor necessarily maturity, habits prevent us from going too far away from what we know.  Habits create boundaries and boundaries are good for us, especially as people of God. We need to habitually be kind, patient, gentile and loving.  We should always strive to develop better habits which takes…. You guessed it…. Intentionality.  Even good habits are born out of being intentional and to strengthen these habits, we still have to be intentional. Busyness, prevents us from intentionality and causes us to lean toward habits; that done without thought. That occurs because the part of the brain used for conscious ‘God and me’ time is busy as it details a plan of attack on the overwhelming task of cleaning out the attic. 

Do you see where I’m going with this? The Lord has given me something I ask Him for; more time.  But I’ve used this time unwisely.  And if I were to go back into society tomorrow, I would enter pretty much the same way I left. Wouldn’t that be a shame? I would miss out on the beauty the Lord wants to bring to my life.  I would miss the growth and maturity, He desires to add. I would miss the changes, He would delight in making to my character.  

Deep breath Brenda.  Slow down, Brenda, the Lord desires your attention. It’s for His glory, but for your good, slow down, my child. 

How are you doing? What book of the Bible have you been reading? Do you read topically or whole books at a time? What have you learned during this quarantine time? What lesson has been cemented? 

Let’s continue the conversation over on Instagram. Follow my Instagram and I will follow back, just let me know in the comment section. I would love to meet you 🙂

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