Every day a platter is laid before each one us. It contains 24 slices of the most precious material on earth. Some call it time, but a more accurate description would be that each slice is a sliver of LIFE. How you choose to spend your time is how you choose to spend your life, and destiny is ultimately made up of the decisions you make with each mouthful of living you indulge in.
So how is your banquet tasting? Are you packing in the ingredients that make for a worthy meal, or defaulting to what’s shoved on your plate day after day.
Intentional carving of the bread of days is essential if you want your life to count in areas you consider worthy of your destiny.
In other words, and this is as simple as it gets, you get to choose what you do!
I totally get the reality that there are obligations we all have to fulfill. With four growing kids, a wife and bills to pay, I know that as well as the next man. Over the decades I have done everything from cleaning toilets to selling diapers to fulfill those pressing duties that are my privilege to carry.
But in it all, my faltering purpose has been to stumble toward a life of intentionality given to those things I believe are beyond any money a man could pay me.
The Bible, a book that has proved more valuable to me than any other earthly thing, urges anyone living on the planet to:
“…surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best” (Philippians 1:10 AMP)
Some things in life are temporal, they will pass away along with memory, but others are enduring and span far beyond the moment.
These are the things that count in the long run.
Having said that, each moment is also pregnant with far more than most of us perceive, and focusing always on tomorrow or the 'bigger' vision robs us of tasting the precious life that infuses the mouthful we are chewing at this very second.
Being both present and purposeful is something I am working on.
Regardless of where you are, I believe that that there are a number of things that should be high on the list of ingredients in your daily recipe.
1. Marriage & Relationships
I have learned the hard way that it is way too easy to take for granted the most precious gifts that God has given. Maintaining and nourishing intimacy and transparency is an intentional choice. Contrary to the way many people live, your closest relationships require cultivation and continual investment to continue working well. You have not been called to live a mediocre life of resignation to ’normal’. God has extraordinary things in store for you, and it will pay dividends to remember that His purpose is planted at home before it can ever run its full course outside your door. Sow abundantly and prioritize your relationships, especially your marriage.
You can have all of the money, fame, adulation or whatever else the world might lavish upon you, but if your body is not in a fit state to appreciate it, your ’success’ will be small reward. You have one body to live in for the progress of your pilgrimage here on earth. Look after it.
You are created in the image of the Creator. Creativity is your natural and supernatural environment. Like a fish in water, you flourish best when you are producing, and flounder when you close down your creative urges. That may be in the kitchen, the craft room or a typewriter. It could be in the workshop, in business or in church. The thing is, you were born to create and multiply.
When Papa, Son and Holy Ghost created the first human beings, the first instruction and blessing was that they be fruitful. That same divine spark exists in you. Without a creative outlet your soul becomes like the Dead Sea. Inlets with no conduit out to the broader ocean leave us like a lifeless reservoir.
Learn the value of art for arts sake. I earn a living with my writing, but the majority of my work and creative endeavors are given away for free. Why? Because I have recognized and accepted my need to create. Even if not one person read this article, it still has value.
Creative flow keeps the inner channels of my life clean and receptive to receive and sustain new ideas, dreams, vision and hope. The life and encouragement I may bring to others is just one side of the coin. The life it releases and nourishes inside my spirit and soul are payment enough, and the seedbed of every conception that has led to sustained income in my life.
Most fit their prayers around their life. God designed us to build our life around our prayers. “Seek first my Kingdom,” was His advice. It boils down to priorities. Having an ever deepening prayer life as the top priority of living keeps all else in eternal perspective.
Instead of looking at your relationship with God as something you fit into your overburdened schedule, attack your schedule and scratch out substantial tracts of time for fierce fellowship with the Father. Fierce because that is precisely how you will need to guard those times from other encroachments.
One day we will all stand before our Savior and give account for our life, every slice and sliver of it. On that day, do you think men will wish they had binge-watched just one more ungodly boxset? Will the career lady kick herself for not spending her extra days chained to the office pursuing bigger and better?
I can promise you right now, you will deeply regret not praying more!
Another area that the world has relentlessly attacked is solitude. Having white space on the page of our life leaves room for the creative breath of Heaven to bring fresh inspiration. It allows us to stretch out and unravel the knots we tend to tie ourselves in, in pursuit of things. Solitude is the place we let go and the place we take hold of all that God wants to put in our hand. Solitude provides the arena where we discover who we really are, what we really want and where we actually want to go in life, and by the inspiration and direction of the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, receive direction how to get there.
So how is your recipe coming along? Are you choosing the ingredients that go into the recipe that makes up your destiny? I hope so. If not, maybe today it’s time to open the cookbook and consider how you want to live the rest of your days.