Intentional living, mindful living, simple living — they’ve all become watchwords at the moment. Bandwagons everyone wants to jump on. And it’s easy to understand why. Because we long for something more. I do. And I think you do, too.
Because when we talk with people about how our years here have taught us to slow down and focus on the more important things of life, we find that deep down, we all search for the same things. We long for a life of purpose and meaning, to feel our life counts for something.
The problem is that we get distracted and lose sight of our goals.
We’re surrounded by distractions. Multitudes of them. Sounds, sights, people, things. And in today’s technological era, screens of every sort. We of the First World get bombarded by stuff. By stores, restaurants, money, success, and glamour. It all seems so alluring, distracting us from the things that really count. And we lose sight of how much we already have.
Yet people in the Third World get bombarded as well. With poverty, need, and the longing for that good life. And the weight of living pulls their vision down, keeping them from seeing how many true riches they too already have.
So I’d like to confess something. When we got really serious (about 8 years ago) about trying to live more intentionally and mindfully, I thought simple, frugal living was the answer. Seemed logical since all our “stuff” won’t mean a thing in eternity.
But stuff is not the enemy.
Because when we come right down to it, it’s a heart issue. Where is our heart? And who or what has it?
Lack of stuff (and the longing for it) can own us just as much as a huge mansion and millions of dollars can. Or we can obsess over simplifying in the same way many obsess over the quest for more.
But I don’t want stuff to own me, and I’m sure you don’t either. And neither do I want a “Minimalist” badge to identify me. Because as a Christ follower, the only badge I want to wear is “Christian.”
Yet, I don’t want to wear my Christianity like a badge that shouts, “Look, I’m a Christian!”
If I have to do that, then I’m not a very good one. But if I’m living intentionally, I probably won’t have to shout it out. You’ll know, and so will everyone I meet.
Because I’ll be busy meeting needs, making friends, being there for others. Reaching out with help and consolation. Offering a shoulder to cry on, a prayer of hope. A bag of groceries or shoes for their children. Along with a kind word and a heart that shows care.
True hope, joy, and peace come from above. And we can have them in a mansion or in a shack (or tent). With tons of stuff or the bare minimum.
Our purpose comes from sharing with those who are without. Sharing what we have, including the peace and joy Christ has put in our hearts. And that’s the Mindful Journey path we’re on.
We want to live intentionally trying to reach out more, meet needs, and love others. Because to us, mindful living is focusing on what’s truly meaningful: God, others, and all the stuff that money can never buy. Intentionally living to love and serve in the same selfless way Christ did.
It’s a life-long journey. We will never fully arrive until he takes us Home.
But oh, what joy and purpose we find in the process!