Live deliberately. Yep, that’s all I’ve got for you. Two words. Alright, let’s move on with our lives.
1. carefully weighed or considered; studied; intentional
2. careful or slow in deciding
3. leisurely and steady in movement or action; slow and even; unhurried
This isn’t going to be simple. I needed to get that out of the way right now. There’s a lot that wrapped up in this two word admonishment that’s come up for me a few times in the last week. First of all, after looking it up deliberate is not resolve as I’d pictured in my mind, it’s far more. Deliberate is understanding what makes up their moral compass and then slowly and intentionally measuring other thoughts, actions, etc. against that compass and moving forward with resolve based on the judgment. Deliberate is confronting our lifestyle of information overload and extracting only what we need to be informed, rejecting the urge to stick our heads in the sand.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” — Romans 12:2
We have to understand. Primarily what I mean by this is we need to understand our faith and deeply. We need to inspect it and challenge it one article at a time until we have a faith that is wholly ours and no longer borrowed from friends, family or others. Without this critical step of ownership, then we are like a foundation built on sand, ripe for erosion, flooding and all other sorts of disaster. Also important is an understanding of the world around us. If we do not understand our surroundings, how can we apply the principles of our faith to our lives at all, let alone effectively? No, we must understand our world, too.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” — I Peter 1:13–16
Slow down. We need to be comfortable with stepping back, taking our time and evaluating what is happening around us. We need to be comfortable with the fact that the earth doesn’t spin any faster today than it did two thousand years ago and whatever we may miss in those precious moments can be caught up on with a simple text, email or phone call. Really, we need to understand that in slowing down, we aren’t missing anything but rather taking more in. And what we take in will undoubtedly be more important. Isn’t that what truly matters? Isn’t that the way to survive the age of information overload?
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20
Stop completely. You heard me. You’re doing it all wrong, now step back. After all, we’re human and prone to error. God isn’t. He isn’t human, nor is He prone to error. Let Him take control. Allow Him the rightful place in Your life He should have had all along. How else can we turn our wisdom and deliberation into perfectly directed action? I know I cannot and I suspect you have a similar story. We’re not going to conquer the world, heck, I can’t even conquer the faucet in my shower. The only way to achieve the follow through we desire, that stands out among the stinking heaps of aimless relativism is allowing God to step in. Allowing the One who orchestrates every molecule, atom and quark to the beauty of his glory. What do you think He could do with your life?
Stop, drop and roll. The deliberate life looks kind of like a person who’s caught fire. Isn’t that fitting, though? We stop to understand our faith and world, then evaluate what’s happening around us. We drop all that we’re trying so hard to carry along the way and trust God to bring all that is necessary. Then, like a Duracell bunny tumbleweed, we roll. There is nothing that can stop us, nothing once we give our lives completely over to God that can stand in our way. There is nothing more dangerous and benign at the same time as someone living the deliberate life. All at once, they have nothing to lose, yet they are filled with the unconditional love of God. So, what do you have to lose? The better question is what don’t you have to gain? Live deliberately.