Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stepping with Intention

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 

John 3:16

Hiking trail three in Turkey Run State Park, located in Central Indiana,  in early spring can not only be breathtaking but very treacherous. My husband and I began our hike through the ravine that leads to ladders mounted into rock. Ice still clung to the rocks overhead, and black ice rested boulder and mud, while sheer ice covered the stream as we decidedly moved forward. Each step on our hike was deliberate and intentional, because lack of focus and intention would ultimately lead to a wrong choice, a misstep, and finally a mishap. 

As we passed fellow sojourners, we listened as they conveyed the trials of the up and coming trail that lay before us and behind them. They shared their battles wounds from missteps and asked their questions about the trail that yet lay before them and behind us. We joked, we admired the canyons, but we never forgot the importance of staying focused and stepping with intention. My husband commented that the trail was like "trying to figure out a jigsaw puzzle." 

This trail reminds me of the importance of "stepping with intention" through life. How different would our lives be if we were more mindful of the choices we made, if we analyzed our words before we spoke, if we, with great intention, decided the best way to "love one another?" What if every step was calculated and best suited for the situation? And what if after that we still made the wrong choice?

My lessons that day? Keeping my mind focused and being intentional of my steps kept me safe and mostly dry. Although I did make a few poor choices that led to sinking in mud and water, being focused and intentional allowed me to be quick and change direction without the misery of being stuck in a wrong decision and lamenting over the consequence. 

We are all navigating the "jigsaw puzzle" called life. Each day we muse over the next piece. Often we haphazardly attempt to connect the pieces to form a meaningful picture, but find that nothing makes sense and only leads to pain, frustration, and wasted time. The challenge we should all accept is that we must choose with intention the next step that will lead to the most success with the least amount of personal and relational damage. If we choose wrongly, then we must be quick to recalculate our decision and redirect our steps. We must accept forgiveness and continually move forward for the good of all. 

Christ died to free us from the burden of our sin. He stepped with intention to the cross, because He understood it was for our good He was dying. For whose good should you begin "stepping with intention?"