I wrote this post right after I began blogging. Although written for the new year, it’s been a good reminder as life picks up it’s pace through the holiday season. What do you think of the idea of living “intentionally but flexibly”?
Old Year is rapidly fusing with New and I am reminded of a letter we received some time ago from acquaintances who were living in Amman, Jordan. They had lived in the Middle East for a long time and they talked about the conflicts they experienced with their personality differences ~
she spontaneous, he a planner.
They recalled the many negotiations they had to make through the years and how that related to their cross-cultural living, blending American and Jordanian cultural norms and attitudes. The parallel between their marriage and cross-cultural negotiations and the words they used of learning to live ‘flexibly but intentionally’ resonated with me. With purpose and goals, but always willing to bend those for the sake of people coming into their lives and unexpected circumstances demanding adjustment, flexibility and of course, time. An amazing mix of East, where people and relationships are paramount and West, where goals and ideas yield some quite amazing results? I think so.
It sounds like a balanced way to live. Too often I have lived just spontaneously and then move into auto-correct by embracing a rigid way of life that demands control and order. What I want is a balance of flexibility and intentionality. The “how-to’s” of achieving this is the challenge. Life with it’s endless distractions and choices often interferes with my spontaneity and goals, making for a chaotic existence.
Os Guiness who’s writing I deeply admire says in his book “The Call” that the key is having a calling. He of course goes into this with much depth and clear word-pictures, some of which are captured in this phrase:
…calling provides the story line for our lives and thus a sense of continuity and coherence in the midst of a fragmented and confusing modern world.
And perhaps therein is my “how to” of living intentionally and flexibly.