Thursday, October 15, 2015

An Alternative to "Living Intentionally"


WARNING: The blog post may contain weird terms that Non-Catholics (and many Catholics, for that matter) will find bizarre.

The Catholic Blogosphere/Twitterverse has a lot to say about living intentionally, being intentional, praying with intentionality, etc, and I'm worried that this sets a nearly unreachable standard given our current culture and pace of life. 

First off, I'd like to say that I pray for the ability to live more intentionally. I think that if I was actually able to stop, slow down, and think through every thought, word, and action, I would be able to be a much better person.

And yet, I recognize that it's almost impossible.

In our culture, everything is happening at break-neck speed. And while it would be nice to be able to slow things down, carefully think about each word you type in response to a nasty work email you received, and guard your mouth to make sure you only say loving and nice things to your spouse and children, I'm not sure if it's even possible.

Okay, I'll stop here for the inevitable response: "For man. this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Yes, I understand this. I get this. This is why I pray to be more intentional, even though I'm not sure it's possible (for me).

But for all of us struggling to slow down and live each and every thought/word/action/decision intentionally, I wanted to offer an alternative:

I was driving to work this morning when I heard a story on NPR about Tesla's new "self driving" cars. They offer an auto-pilot control that can steer, accelerate, slow, and even change lanes on the freeway, given fairly decent conditions. When the car's computer doesn't feel comfortable running the show on its own, a chime sounds alerting the driver to take the wheel and control the vehicle.

This is the alternative I'm looking for.

I want to auto-pilot myself in the direction of holiness, or choosing what is good, and responding to others in a way that shows my love for them. I want to default to the right response in normal, everyday situations.

And for those situations where a little more thought and intentional decision making may be required to ensure that I make the right decision, I want to be able to grab the wheel and take control.

Because, to me, living intentionally is cool, but being able to dedicate oneself to being able to live God's will on auto-pilot seems even cooler.

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