Being intentional doesn’t just happen!
I remember some old movies where the father would ask the young man, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” I have had a lot of thought and discussion about this whole idea of being intentional. In my last post, I talked about goals and how it is important to have a plan and motivation to go with those goals. That plan then should lead us to being intentional. If I want to lose weight, I need to be intentional. I have to take the steps necessary to achieve the goal. It will take a positive movement on my part. I mean, it could happen accidentally but certainly not a recipe for success and not a high probability of achievement.
This is especially true in the area of discipleship. When I first made the commitment to being a disciple, I was not sure what to do. I moved along and was learning. Pretty normal for a new disciple, I suppose. Along the way, I have had some great experiences and these helped me in being formed as a Christian. God has made himself known to me in some exciting and tangible ways. I went to many retreats to find more and new experiences of God, to fill my spiritual tank.
I have reached a point now in my spiritual life where I am ready to evangelize. I went through training last December to learn how to street evangelize. The people with St. Paul Street Evangelization taught us many techniques including practicing sharing my testimony. I have been given multiple opportunities to share my faith with others and to evangelize. Truly, I have been feeling pretty good about myself and my works as an evangelist.
Then I started thinking about it and looking at it closer. You see, I went through a string of events where God put people in my path to share the Gospel with. It was all very rewarding and I actually wrote about some of those experiences. Then the faucet turned off and God was not putting people in my path anymore. The evangelization well seems to have dried up. I took this as just a curious coincidence.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
Then, I started thinking about how I have not been intentional about evangelizing. God has been initiating everything, as he should and is proper. But, what have I done to be intentional about evangelizing, to make it my purpose? Do I ever get up in the morning and leave the house with the sole purpose of evangelizing? Sadly, no. My evangelizing has usually just been a little extra side trip in my day and not my sole purpose. The apostles were sent out with the sole purpose of evangelizing and they took care of themselves on the side. The reality of my life right now is probably not full time evangelization, but maybe it is time to dedicate some time to evangelize intentionally.