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Intentional Living

At the start of a new year, we often set our sights on improving

ourselves and our relationships only to become discouraged and

overwhelmed by February. It is a well-known fact that a very small

rudder can maneuver a large ship. Without a rudder the ship will

become helpless against the wind, waves, and currents having no power

to direct its course and reach its destination.

I experienced this first hand when I took a group of boys camping on

Anclote Key last month. It was a beautiful day and the waters were as

calm looking as a lake. As our little boat was pulling up to the

island the driver cut the engine and lifted the rudder out of the

water. Immediately the current began sweeping us away from our

destination. The calm seas and warm sun had lulled me into complacency

and I had not prepared the anchor ahead of time. We became so far off

course by the time I had the anchor ready, that the driver had to put

the engine and rudder back in the water and make another pass. This

time I was ready with the anchor and as soon as he lifted the engine I

dropped the anchor and the boat stopped drifting.

How often do we get lulled into a sense that everything is ok but in

reality we are being subtly swept away from our desired goals and

objectives by distractions and other demands of life. In order to have

our rudders in the water we have to live intentional lives. In

speaking to a group of college students, Randall Ridd said “Too often

we passively follow patterns and habits that have been developed

through the years-we just go through the motions without carefully

considering where those motions are taking us”. It is important that

we stop and evaluate whether the choices we are making are leading us

where we want to go.

If you want a better marriage or a better relationship with your

child, are you intentionally doing things on a daily basis that puts

them as a priority and conveys love to them in a meaningful way. I can

promise you that if you are not intentional about your relationships,

the distractions and demands of life will leave little left over for

the people you care most about in your life. Then, when you look back

and evaluate, you will realize how far you have drifted away from them

and the type of relationship you really wanted.

So this year put your rudders in the water and steer your life and

relationships in a purposeful direction. Make it a practice to

question why you do what you do and is it having the desired outcome

that you are wanting. This will help prevent the waves and currents of

life from causing you to drift away from the things that matter most

to you.


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