intentional. it's a good word. it's meaning is really basic: to do something on purpose.
Everyday we do things on purpose. We get out of bed on purpose. We leave the house on purpose. We go to work on purpose. We have fun on purpose. We choose a certain attitude on purpose. We love people on purpose.
I know for a fact that none of you want to read about my purpose in getting out of bed everyday at 6:15am or about the purpose my work, or why my attitude is a certain way(or maybe you do). But the thing i want to post about tonight is loving people on purpose. Sorry if you were hoping for a "top 10 fun things" post. This isn't one of them... also let me apologize if i am too honest or have made you uncomfortable in the past. It's just the way i am wired; I don't sugar coat things very well.
loving people on purpose. first off i am not talking about the love of romance or love of chocolate cake. I am talking about the not-always-glamorous-sitting-in-the-mud kind of love. The intentional kind. For example:
When someone blesses me with coffee or a note of encouragement just because. NO OTHER REASON!!! that's intentional love. Or how about when someone texts you just to let you know they think you are wonderful... because they really do... no other reason.
That's intentional love. I could make this all super spiritual and bring out some great story from the gospels about Jesus loving people intentionally but i won't. Look it up... the stories i am talking about are there.
I look around my life and see something that makes me sad. two words capture it pretty well:
Don't know what i am talking about? Hang out with some people... you'll see what i mean. I was going to classify this with young adults, but it applies in a lot of age groups. People looking for the "cool kids". People wanting so bad to be "in" or "noticed". People striving for attention. So many times we don't even realize that we are stepping on people to get there. We are only intentional when it means social leverage for us. We so often only go out of our social bubble if it will benefit us(ME) in someway. Why? Why? Why?
Can we please just love people? Can we please just try? i dare us.
here are the practical things i am talking about:
- go out to coffee with someone you've never had a 1-1 conversation with... and ask them about their dreams, hopes and wishes.
-invite someone to your "hang out" who doesn't normally come... mix things up a bit.
-buy someone flowers, just because they reminded you of that person... it doesn't matter WHAT that person has or HASN'T done for you.
-STOP. and ask someone how their life is... and be ready for a possibly long answer. don't rush past moments.
-buy someone's bottled water when they don't have enough change... i did this at trader joes and caused quite a stir... it was really funny how people reacted to a SIMPLE act of kindness.
-smile. it's beautiful no matter what you think... God made it in HIS image and HE is beautiful... your smile could LITERALLY change a day(and in turn a life)
i know some of those things sound so "cheesy". But if you honestly look at your life... do you see yourself as someone who INTENTIONALLY loves people or someone who rushes on past? May you think you are intentional, but are you only intentional if it benefits you? OR perhaps you know exactly what i am talking about because you live in the same world i do... and wonder if someone will be intentional with you... just because they think you are great and not because you can benefit their life.
let's stinkin love people well this week. Please.