There are a few words that have become attached to me over the past years. I cling to them, exhume them, and force them to come alive in my own life until they become a part of me. “Intentional” is definitely one of those words. Far too often people have good intentions. We all want to live our best life now. We want to lose a few pounds. We want to go back to school one day. We want to get our finances in order. We want to live and pursue our dreams. We all want to love and be loved by someone.
Yet we go through life completing the same routines every day. We eat the same stuff, read the same material, watch the same shows, and listen to the same voices (in our head and outside of it). We watch the days go by and let life happen to us. That’s a passive way of living, and it does not get us the results that we desire. If we truly want to live free, then we must intentionally make choices that put us on another life course. Spiritual retreats are great opportunities to pause and reflect, and then hit the reset button on life.
Times are hard. The cultural and social climate in America right now is more polarized than I have ever seen in my adult life. Everything is political. And when everything is political, people can easily forget how to respond in a civil manner. Without thinking, we can become angry or defensive, be too passive or aggressive or both, we quickly forget that there is more than one way to respond, conclude, or think about things, and we most certainly can forget the characteristic of compassion. This is what life is like in America right now.
The toxic environment of name calling, shouting, and ignoring the other has now become the norm, and that toxicity has infiltrated the church. At a time when it could be healing to draw near to others, as we draw near to Christ, we are actually pulling away and retreating to the places where we feel most comfortable, or worse, to the lonely place of isolation because we simply don’t want to deal with others.
Over the past year, I have traveled across the country sharing about mentoring for God’s kingdom purposes. Particularly, I have been sharing the wisdom and value of Mentoring for Life as an act of intentional discipleship. Mentoring is a commitment, and there are a few things that make mentoring for God’s kingdom purposes unique. One of them is knowing and indeed leveraging the power of having peer mentors. This is a gift that I share on Elisa Morgan’s Really blog today. You can read about the benefits now.