We love a good story. These stories connect through emotion, humor, and related experiences. Story telling is one of the common themes for the best blog articles on the internet. Jesus Christ, was the greatest blogger of all time. He currently has over infinity followers (although many are not engaged followers), and is still pushing great content. He tells a great story about a man seeking heaven. In Mathew, chapter 19: 16-30, Jesus meets a young rich man who takes this opportunity to assure himself of eternal salvation. Like many of us, this man feels like he is doing all the right things, but still lacks that assurance of salvation. “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus tells him to obey the commandments. Here, he gives a quick run down of the ten commandments. The young man, feeling a little better, yet still unsure replies, ” All of these I observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus, not mincing words replies with the following words that are clear as day, yet so difficult to understand. He says: if you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven”. The man leaves, after hearing this. He leaves in despair because he has many possessions. Jesus, knowing human nature better than anyone, turns to his followers to clarify, ” Again, I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God”. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells another parable of a rich fool. Luke 12: 16-21, Jesus tells his followers about a rich young man so with so many possessions, he cannot possibly need them all. He tears down his barns and builds bigger and bigger barns to store his stuff. God calls him a fool…:”for tonight your life will be demanded of you…thus it will be the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God”.
Things were easier when I couldn’t figure how to get things done. I hadn’t discovered the power of the intentional life and could always put things off until tomorrow. Nothing is more important to me than my relationship with the Lord. I tell myself that everyday. I told myself this today as I slept in, read 30 pages of a fiction novel, watched 2 hours of baseball, about an hour of social media, and countless moments doing things without giving the Lord a second thought. It’s certainly true that we can be conscious of God even in mundane everyday tasks, but that wasn’t the case for me. It rarely is. I’m fed up with being a mediocre Christian. I felt a tug on my soul today. Call it the Holy Spirit or call it indigestion, here is what the frustrated, not at all crazy, conversation with myself looked like:
that we as sinners are forgiven with the blood from the cross. This is where to start. God’s love. Incorporating more intentional faith into our lives is no different than waking up early to work on our blogs, books, paintings, or any other passion we enjoy. The motivation to grow our relationship with God should dwarf our other endeavors. Start with a vision. Build your plan to take you to your vision. You GOT this!
This is the season for the SAT test. As I sipped my cofee Saturday morning waiting for my 17 year old daughter to finish getting ready for her second round with the SAT, I openned up Feedly to read Seth Godin’s post, Measuring without Measuring. In his witty, and for the moment “timely” manner, he states that the SAT is the best measure to see how a person will do on the SAT. In two weeks we will have results showing kids who showed up and “fell” into great scores, kids who showed tremendous effort and growth to get “average scores” and very smart kids who struggle through tests only to get bad scores. What are we hoping to gain from making hundres of thousands of kids take this test? Colleges want results. They want to stack the odds in their favor that accepting more freshman with higher SAT scores will provide better results (ie, grades, student involvement, graduation). The measuring stick of our life is results. This is not one of those egalitarian posts about giving every kid a trophy or the self esteem movement anyone in thier 30s can remember. We must measure results because we are not God. We get paid to deliver results. God is all knowing and measures something greater because he is reading the entire story. He measures intentions. He knows your heart. He paid the price on Calvary 2000 years ago to guarentee the results. All he asks for is you to love him, to have faith like a child (Luke 18:17)
What God gives us that the rest of life doesn’t, is a place to put our heart where we are guarenteed success.
We can put our efforts on sales numbers, amount of blog posts, and the soccer score. Yet It doesn’t matter. The results don’t change the core of who we are. In a world that will accept results regardless of intentions, we will never accept intentions without results. Only God will do that. True purpose is aligning your results with your intentions. In other words, you are not only good at something, but you want to be good at it as well. As I push through the self doubt about my writing ( I am not good enough, not writing enough, etc. ) and my parenting (who am I to raise these kids?) and my work results (numbers are down again?), I am comforted by the true measure of who I am by my heart. This fuels my ambition to take on the self doubt through intentionality and consistently “showing up”.