I will be the first to admit that I really love schedules. I love organization. I love feeling like I have it all together. Being in a routine is comfortable for me. It's cozy. I like knowing what's coming next and having a plan and scheduling what the next hours or days or years are going to look like.
I am a creature of habit.
It's easier for me to focus on the future than it is the here and now. There is a place for planning and preparation, definitely! Lately, though, Jesus has been speaking to my heart about intentionality vs. habit. What am I doing just because it's comfortable? What does it really look like to intentionally build relationships?
What does it look like to live less out of habit and more out of intent? At church, we've been doing a lot of planning for the upcoming year. We've taken a look at our calendar and the events we do and asked the question: are we doing this out of habit, or are we doing this because it's going to help our kids get closer to Jesus?
The thing that I love about the Father is that He's always calling us to Himself. We don't have to chase Him. We don't have to be good enough or smart enough or pretty enough.
We are simply enough because of His Son and how much He loves us.
Let me say that again.
You are enough.
We, as His children, are expressions of the Father's love. No one has your exact outlook. No one has your vision. You are placed on the earth for this time to reflect a piece of His heart and His ways.
I was really struggling with this whole idea the other day: habit vs. intent. When I live out of habit, I am living for myself. I can go through the motions without making connection.
Jesus, don't You know that I have things I have to do every day? I have a schedule. I have deadlines and time frames and expectations. I'm stressed. I'm busy.
He so lovingly asked, "What would happen if, in the midst of all of that, you chose to look at Me? How would that refocus your day?
I was reminded of a passage in Luke 5. Jesus was telling the disciples a parable.
"No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it onto a new garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be skilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, 'The old is good.'" Luke 5:36-39.
Living with Jesus is an invitation: He offers a fresh outpouring of His goodness and grace for us every single day, without fail! I love that phrase: "The new will not match the old."
As we become more like Jesus, our transformed hearts and minds won't match the person we used to be. You have a purpose bigger than you know.
The outpouring He gives invites us to see our lives from His perspective: to see that the little things we do each day matter. We can be faithful in the areas that God has given us, changing an atmosphere by being engaged. By allowing the Father to revive us and give us fresh vision in our "have to's" and our daily commitments.
Jesus sees you, in the midst of your ministry.
In the midst of your business meetings.
In the midst of taking care of your children or cooking dinner.
In the midst of writing papers and taking exams.
He hears your prayers and the desires of your heart.
May we live less out of habit and more out of intent, reflecting His heart and His ways!