If I were to give this season one word it would be “Intentional”. I feel like I am learning the importance of living life intentionally. My wife and I are at the start of our second year at Bethel’s Ministry School. In second year, much more is expected of us. We are being trained to be ‘World Class Leaders’, an exciting, humbling and challenging prospect. I am discovering intentionality is a key for anyone hoping to be a great leader or powerful person.
Being intentional means being focused, having forethought, planning and being strategic. Whilst historically I don’t think I have been reckless I have discovered that my default position has been to just wait and see what life will bring. A large amount of the teaching on leadership so far has led me to the conclusion that I need to be intentional in how I live my life. There have been a few key areas in which I feel personally challenged.
God revealed to me recently that I have not been being intentional in relationships. It surprised me! I thought I was doing not bad but Holy Spirit revealed that I was not putting myself out there fully for fear of being hurt. I was believing the lie that people would not value what I brought and that they would not reciprocate relationship. It was something I thought I had dealt with years ago, turns out I was still hurting. The truth is that I have something valuable to bring to the table. My confidence is rooted in who God says I am and he helped me see that he has placed huge value in me that the people around me need me to share. Since God revealed this to me I have found such freedom and confidence to be myself. Stepping out on these truths has required some personal risk and stepping out. Part of being intentional with relationships has meant for me approaching leadership within this environment. Something that is not natural for me, normally I formulate excuses for why I should talk to the person leading a meeting/class. It has meant some awkward conversations but it has been hugely liberating at the same time. I am pursuing being intentional with relationships. It means spending time with the people you want to connect with and conversely not pursuing relationships which are superficial or will result in draining you.
Another area I am learning to become intentional in is in how I manage my time. We all have priorities in life. Most of the time we are not very good at articulating them or keeping them at the forefront of our minds. I am discovering the importance of scheduling your priorities. When you actually make time for the things that are most important to you and then let the other things fit in around, you find yourself being more focused and happier. In reality I have often waited until things get urgent before scheduling them. I have fooled myself into believing this is a strength. The reality is that it works most of the time but when a few urgent things crop up at once I enter panic mode. If I want to take a dream and make it happen I need to schedule time for the steps involved. If you can fill your calendar with your major goals in mind you will be amazed at the clarity it brings to decision making. It sounds so simple and yet I have discovered very few who live life like this. When you are busy, good time management will allow you to stay in control. If you don’t schedule your priorities you will either lack forward motion or you will end up letting other people control your life.
I am still figuring a lot of it out but already I feel liberated by the process. I expected to really dislike the idea but in practice I can see the benefits of living intentional are huge. “Intentional” remains my word for the season and I continue to learn what it looks like in practice. Are you intentional? Where are you going? Does your calendar reflect your priorities?