Being over here in the Czech Republic is all about living intentionally. That’s a pretty big word so I feel like I should give it a “working definition” so to speak. To me “living intentionally” means being aware of the people, things and situations around you and consciously trying to impact all those things in a positive way. Since I first left for South Africa in January 2008 I have been amazed at how powerful my words or actions can impact someone else for good or ill. Of course, Scripture (in James and other places) backs this up. Here in the Czech Republic living intentionally is all that much more important. Things aren’t just going to fall in my lap. I have to be focused. I have to care. I have to keep my eyes open.
This is not my natural state. I am an American and even worse I’m from the Northeast. Let me explain. We on the East Coast value independence. We work hard, don’t whine and we look out for ourselves alone pretty much. Plus I’m an introvert. I like people but only in the right situations. I would rather sit at home all night than go somewhere with a large group of people I don’t know. I often (consciously and not) value honesty over relationship.
I have a problem. Large parts of my culture and personality fly in the face of the religion and belief system that I claim to profess. Think about it.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it- Luke 9:24
Christianity flips my values on their head. It’s not about me, it’s about others. If I try to look out only for myself it’s hopeless. And of course this is perfectly exampled in the acts of Jesus: God himself, the Savior of the world, giving himself up to be publicly tortured, ridiculed and killed in a major city. And the crazy thing is this: In this ultimate act of unbridled, unrestrained love and intentionality, the entire World has been given hope and salvation.
Wow. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I think I need to focus on living intentionally more.