As we approach March, Pastor Shaun and I have been having many conversations about being more intentional with a few things and simplifying the other things in our life. Often times we as people get so busy with many things that we forget about the main things that will move us forward into the future God has for us. It is good to stop and evaluate at the end of each week how our time was spent or invested. Were we fruitful in reaching the goals God has for us or just busy this week?
I read a story recently about a man and his family who went to live short term in Fiji in order to study family strengths and challenges on a Fulbright scholarship. He said one of the things they noticed about the people of Fiji, is that as a culture, they place high value on kindness, respect, caring, sharing, happiness, not clouding the day with worry, and security. He said the interesting thing about Fiji people, is they frequently go to each other's homes to visit, but when they do, it is not stressful.
Nothing is expected of the people whose home you show up at, but to simply enjoy each other's company. You don't have to entertain, cook or think of things to talk about. Most often, they sit out on the porch and just look at the sky and birds. They may say a bit, or ask each other some questions about their life, but overall, they just smile and enjoy one another's presence.
The man doing the study said that even though there was somewhat of a language barrier with the friends he developed, he always felt so good after being with them. Why? I believe it was that when people focus on simply being with one another in a spirit of love, it causes people to feel good about themselves and each other.
How does this story relate you? I would encourage you to think about the five to seven top things you want to accomplish this year in your spiritual walk, close relationships, your career calling, your health, and your finances. Write them down and start being intentional about them. In order to meet your goals, you will most likely need to simplify or end some of the other things in your life that are stealing time and energy from you achieving your top goals.
Do you need to let go of a time-consuming hobby in order to be successful in your parenting goal? Do you need to sell something to lower monthly payments in order to achieve your giving goal? Do you need to stop hanging around co-workers that insult their spouse and set a daily reminder on your phone to compliment your wife or appreciate your husband? Do you need to get to bed 30 minutes earlier and get up 30 minutes earlier to achieve your morning spiritual goals?
Once you take time to think about what needs to be simplified in order to be more intentional about your goals, then move your life in this direction, you will find you have more joy than ever before! God is a God of order and He doesn't want us to overload our systems. He desires that we be focused, intentional, and yet simple in how we approach life.
May your March be a joyous and refreshing month of spring cleaning in your life, home and schedule, moving you closer and closer to the fruitful future God has for you! May you have a "Fiji" kind of month and relationships that bring peace, hope, joy, security, energy, kindness, and caring to you and others!
-Shaun & Amy