20141024

Living Intentionally

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son! "If—" by Rudyard Kipling
A close friend is dealing with some difficult health issues. The short story is that he is - in his words - holding a "6 months, 6 years, or hit by a bus” outlook of his life. He shares with us that his new favorite word is now "intentional." Again, in his words, "We only have so much time. All of us. And we don't know how much. Don't miss your life. Live purposefully."

​Time doesn't wait. When the unforgiving minute is gone, it's gone. As I'm spending these minutes typing this, my intention is that we will all be reminded to live intentionally. In the greater scheme of things, we want our lives to have purpose and we strive to live for something greater than ourselves. However, do such meaning and purpose reflect in our daily lives? When I work, am I just doing it for the pay check, or am I serving others and God, about which I want my life to be? When I run, am I only doing it for physical fitness? Or could I be more intentional in making an inherently selfish act into something better? Perhaps sharing the experience with a community and encouraging one and other? When I eat, is my intention to fuel my body, or to find comfort in the wrong place? Intentions that are lived out daily will become our purpose and meaning in life. 
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)​
In architecture, a building's purpose can be obvious in its building type: a hospital, an airport, a church... However, the caveat is found in our ability to translate the greater purpose into the nuts and bolts, so that the corresponding and driving intentions can be lived out daily by its users. I know I'm in trouble when I struggle to name a room because it tells me that the space is without a purpose and is wasted. How the space is used and the message it communicates will eventually define the purpose of the building. Take Pruitt-Igoe as an example. The large urban housing project in St. Louis, MO built in the 1950s becomes a symbol of poverty and crime, while its original purpose is to provide housing and be "an oasis in the desert." Reasons for which the project failed are complex, architecturally, socially, and economically. But in short, what was being lived out and materialized did not serve the original purpose and led to its decay. As it is with our lives, purpose is found in the building blocks of day-to-day intentions. Live intentionally.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV)

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