Intention is what you plan and want to do.
But you know about best laid plans… As for what we want, you can’t always get what you want. So often our intentions are not a strong enough commitment to reach the desired goal. This is why the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and not good deeds. It matters what we say, surely, but moreso what we do. Intending to do something is a good start. But only that—a start.
When we decide that some part of our life needs to change, we come up with the end game—what would our life look like if we did (whatever the change is)? Once we have the goal in mind, then we have to work out the details, the steps that will get us there. This is where intentions come in to play. Intentions have us working toward a goal.
Think about the times our congregational life involved a change. We imagined that we could build on, and we did. We imagined that we could fill the sanctuary twice every Sunday and added a service. It did not ever reach the level of engagement we imagined and we went back to having one service. Now we are imagining that our service start time could be later in the morning and so we will investigate people’s desires around that and we might develop intentions.
But there are justice changes, too. We became a Welcoming Congregation regarding our LGBTQ neighbors. We voted to become a Sanctuary Congregation regarding our immigrant neighbors, but still need to work on the details. We intend to remain a beacon of hope in the Michiana region for people whose light has been diminished for one reason or another. Our intentions are good…but they are only the beginning.
As we get into this new year we will decide over and over, personally and in groups, what will receive our energy? Make those intentions honorable and have a Happy New Year!