Each year, when we put up a new calendar, we are bombarded with tips on goal setting, and on the value (or lack thereof) of resolutions. Each year, there is great discussion about taking the opportunity to evaluate where we have been and decide where we are going. I often find myself resisting this tug of our culture. I don't set goals and I don't like resolutions. However, I also do not want to wander through life aimlessly. Thankfully I don't have to.
God is always leading. He does not wait for a date on the calendar. He does not wait for us to put together a perfect plan because He already has. Sometimes He reveals His plan one step at a time, sometimes many steps. Sometimes we understand what He is asking, sometimes we don't until later. Always He promises He will be with us. Throughout Scripture we read "Do not be afraid for I am with you." In Ephesians 2, we are told He has prepared works in advance for us. As I meditate on this, I find myself more and more disenchanted with the whole new year, new you messaging.
Sometime during the past fall, the word intentional started showing up in conversation, in reading and then in random ways throughout my day. I started to contemplate this word in relation to my activities and in relation to God's leading in my life. I found myself thinking about why I say yes or no to questions and opportunities. I found the tension surrounding goals disappeared when I ceased trying to set a plan and instead looked to take intentional action and leave intentional space letting God set the plan and the rhythm.
This winter, in addition to the word intentional, I find I am meditating on and mulling over the theme of do not be afraid for I am with you. God tells His people at various times: I am with you. I am going ahead of you. I will show you. I am going to prepare a place. The theme of God with us is woven throughout His story and ours. I do not know what the next step is. I do know that God is already working out the details. When I pause long enough to listen to His guidance and take intentional action, but not so long as to let fear interfere, I will see the journey unfold in God's timing and it probably will be unlike what I would have planned.