The What and The Why: Taking Inventory in Summer 2014

Each month, I try to take an inventory of what I am doing and why. Most folks don’t need to do this, but I do. I require the pause–the respite from life’s busy-ness–to recalibrate, to refocus, to keep my heart and mind in check. But between you and me, I’m not very good at it.

My intentionality is not always affective. Sometimes it just reminds me of how many things I’ve ineptly tried to integrate (or juggle)–Home, Faith, Family, Friends, Wealth, Health, Hobbies, Novels, Blogs, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Articles and on and on…

It’s harder to live this way than I like to admit. I’ve found myself feeling relatively low around the third weekend of each month–for whatever reason. Life got harder. Something disappointed me. The things about which I took inventory at month’s open have fallen by the wayside to trivialities or inner trials. I wanted to make something of this month, but goals lay unmet or hopes stand unfulfilled.

Like I said, I’m not very good at this.

Some may wonder for what I’m reaching. Is it the “routine of genius”, having my weeks mapped out to maximize effectiveness?  No. More likely, it’s the “pursuit of the ideal”, having one’s days outlined so as to create an ideal existence, balancing all of one’s many desires and goals with purpose and productivity. But again, I don’t know if that’s me. Maybe I am just trying to justify the way I’m living by placing the things I want to do into a paradigm that gives them the appearance of fruitfulness. That may be closer, but I really think it’s not fully true (I deny myself a fair amount of what I want in pursuit of what I believe I need).

I can tell you this much, it’s an attempt to live well. As I said, I’m not always competent in execution, but I am doggedly devoted to intention. I want my life to matter in regard to real things–connecting with people, encouraging them, letting my “social footprint” be one that brightens another’s day rather than darkening it. I want my efforts in the present to carry eternal weight, so that when I come to the end of this mortal coil, when God welcomes me into his house, I will know I did not waste the time I was given.

In so many ways, I feel that I have already spent too much of it poorly, as if I carry a red ledger I need to make black. Of course, this is folly, and that’s the great joy of living life and loving Christ. I know that regardless of the debt I have incurred, he’s already cleansed me in full and paid the balance. So much of what is wasted he has redeemed and continues to redeem. I can live in confidence of that; I can take great solace in that. I can find peace in it. Rest in it. Embrace it.

And that’s the funny thing. It’s this revelation that I call to mind, that my life is already redeemed from waste and has eternal meaning, that makes me want to live it well each day. Knowing my life has value leads to my actively engaging my time in order to exemplify the truth I believe: my time and what I do with it matter, because God has given it to me to take part in his story.

So as July closes and I look toward August, I know that my life is part of a beautiful ongoing, eternal narrative. With that in perspective, all I need to ask is, “what part do I wish to play?”

And what part do you? I think it’s a fair question to open the week.

Thanks for reading,