this time three years ago i would have described myself as someone who knew everyone and no one simultaneously - and by that i mean i was acquainted with everyone but only knew a select few on an intimate level. and i was happy with that life.
this time a year ago i decided to change that. i had decided that life isn't about how many people you know but about how intimately you know the people you know. i only counted about five people who fit in the latter category. so i attempted to change. i quit worrying about meeting everyone and focused putting time and effort into the relationships i'd already begun. intentionality is what i called it. having purpose and direction with each of my friends.
and here i am a year later, for the first time ever, disliking my life.
okay. maybe that is a stretch. i don't dislike my life, but i certainly don't love it. there is something wrong with that outcome. something went wrong in the switch apparently. i do know a handful of people extremely well, but i don't know anyone beyond that. isn't it supposed to be a positively life altering thing to gain so many meaningful friendships? i am not nearly as joyful as i used to be. i've become very serious and, at times, very antisocial. seriousness can be good, and i think it takes a great deal of seriousness to be intentional with one another, but there has to be more to this intentionality than i've gained in the past year or so.
and then i go home to kc for the weekend and go to church and hear the sermon i heard. apparently they're in the middle of a series called just walk across the room - it is, from what i gathered yesterday, a series devoted to learning how to leave your comfort zone and 'walk across the room' to get to know others. WHAT. that was my LIFE two years ago. i absolutely loved being able to talk with anyone and everyone. meeting new people and saying 'hi' to everyone brought me the utmost joy and my life reflected that.
so i got excited. this is the life i knew and loved. i'd heard this word 'intentionality' and immediately associated it with seriously heavy conversations - insightful and knowledge-filled, but with very little laughter.it was being social without being silly. i'd changed my lifestyle from being a jovial and light-hearted to being serious and, well, no fun. who wants to be intentional about that? anyone who has a choice will pick fun over its alternative. i mean come on. but this isn't at all true. the answer isn't that one life is better than the other; it is in someplace i'd failed to look.
the truth: intention must coincide with God.
what i've realized since yesterday morning is that there is a difference between living intentionally and living intentionally for God. i can try as hard as i can to be sincere and get to know others, but if my motivation is just because i'm trying to live intentionally then what is the use? my motivation needs to be God-centered. only through Christ can we truly be intentional.
i was trying to be intentional for being intentional's sake, and that is why the endeavor has offered limited fruit. not because it is a crappier lifestyle, but because i've been living it crappier. (the use of crappier in both cases is due to the fact that it is a simple way to give it negative connotations without really describing or defining it at all.)
God was the motivation behind meeting other people, but God did not factor into the equation when it came to getting to know people on a deeper more spiritual level. why can't i simply be intentional in both my conversations and in my ability to know everyone?
exciting realization: if God is my motivation i can do both. i don't need to ditch my old ways of leaving my comfort bubble to meet others. i can keep that and simply dive into deeper relationships with the people i meet. i could meet everyone and then get to know everyone.
oh, it's on.