Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Path

"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." (Proverbs 27:12)

I recently started reading a book called The Principle of the Path written by Andy Stanley.  If you follow this blog you know that I rarely, if ever, write a book review - and to be true, this is not a review of the book. However, it has grabbed me simply because of it's "no duh" premise, which so many of us (including myself) violate over and over.

If you plan on reading this book and don't want any spoilers, stop here.  Otherwise, keep going.

The main thrust of the book is this; "direction, not intention, determines your destination."  I told you it was a "no duh" premise, so what's the point?  The point is this; most of us, including myself, seem to live by a different principle that goes something like this; my intentions and plans determine my destination.

For example, you intend to be healthy and in good shape, therefore you will be.  It's your intention. Meanwhile, you eat fast food, never exercise, drink lots of soda and mochas, and somehow expect to end up healthy.  Oh, for sure, you plan to "get around to it" some day.  But then, another day goes by...

Or you desire to be close to Christ and develop an intimate relationship with him, yet you spend more time watching espn and reading the paper than you do in God's Word and prayer.  Hmmmm.  Direction = Destination.  I wonder...

As I read this book I'm already being challenged to either 1) examine my life and determine what parts need a direction change in order to lead me to my desired destination, or 2) read the book and say "some day I'll get around to incorporating that into my life" and then putting it on the shelf like so many others.  As Stanley himself says, "Knowing doesn't make the difference.  Doing does."

I hate books like this....but I need them.

If I had to describe in one word the kind of life I want to live, it would be this word; intentional.  I don't want life to "happen to me," I don't want to live reactionary.  I want to live an intentional life...a life with a purpose, on purpose.  Maybe that's why this book resonates with me, because in many ways, it's putting words to what I already believe.  I challenge you to find any great leader or person you admire who just "accidentally" arrived at where they are now.  Still, just because I want to live an intentional life, doesn't mean I am or I will.  I have to DO it.

In the same way, living as a Christian requires intentionality.  It means making choices that will put you on a path that leads you closer to Christ.  Direction, not intentions = Destination.  Which leaves us with one simple question; where are you headed?

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