Mastering the art of intentionality is truly a virtue to attain. It creates structure, routine, and order in one’s life while establishing purpose and outlining priorities.
But how does a person pursue being intentional in their life when their life has all of a sudden become very unintentional?
I don’t think anyone fully anticipated the impact Covid-19 could have on the world, a nation, a community and an individual’s life. Almost overnight our “normal” became very abnormal and before we realized what was happening our lives came to a standstill and everything in the world appeared to be held hostage. Plans that took months and perhaps even years to organize became cancelled. Events and activities stopped. Stores, restaurants, gyms, salons, churches, and even specialty health offices closed. Mandates to stay isolated came in place and life as we knew it changed.
Abnormal morphed into normal while humanity scrambled to navigate which direction to head in. [Essential workers aside] Being told “no” in practically all areas of life has a great chance to negatively affect how a person will respond. Forced isolation from the outside world may close down many distractions but it also opens the door for the enemy to enter in. That is, if the gate is down (1 Peter 5:8-10).
In our isolation we have a choice – we can tune out or we can tune in.
When there is no structure, routine or order, life is very chaotic, unorganized and without any purpose. Mindlessly scrolling social media, binge-watching anything that streams, and lingering all day in pajamas until it’s time to put on a new pair is exactly what the enemy wants for our days. He wants us to tune “in” to ourselves – our selfish needs, wants and desires, whatever they may be – so we can tune “out” everything that is good, honest, and true.
The problem is, you can only eat junk food for so long before you’re hungry again.
You are filled when you are fulfilled with the Spirit. The way to an intentional life is by tuning “in” to the Spirit and being fed by His sustaining fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Your purpose is repurposed when you look up rather than looking around.
Being intentional is all about prioritizing the things that are the most important. For the Christian, this means spending dedicated time in God’s Word, actively praying and continually reflecting. It is not easy, but it is possible and it will change your life.
Being stuck inside most of the day allows the perfect time to silence the noise outside so you can listen to the Voice within. (Caution: silence and isolation are also where the enemy likes to linger. Ref: Luke 4 and 1 Corinthians 10:13) All of the “no’s” we are receiving from the world can lead to the “yes’s” God initially intended for us to have:
- Yes to the quiet.
- Yes to the slow.
- Yes to being present and the extra time with family.
- Yes to the opportunity to pursue well-being and self-care.
- Yes to establishing goals and priorities.
- Yes to perspective that allows us to stop, reflect and appreciate.
- Yes to clarity because all of the things that held us back and distracted us are now on hold and we finally have focus and clear vision.
- Yes to grace and yes to gratitude.
We can be intentional in our life right now if we want to. Key: want to. You have to be intentional about being intentional. You must put God over everything and tune “in” rather than tuning “out.” The world is on-pause right now, friend, and we have been gifted time. We are able to prioritize the things that are important because the important things haven’t been taken away from us. This is not a time to give up, but rather a time to go all IN.
The world will fail us, every. single. time. It’s track record is flawless and it is one of the few things we can depend on in this world. The other? Jesus. He never fails. He is our hope, our salvation, our peace and our understanding. He leads us to the Father and to the life we were originally intended to have. So tune in to Him first and go all in. When so many things have been taken away, what really do you have to lose?