TURN: To Being Intentional

It’s been a while.  Vacation brings a new chaos and a new normal which isn’t always conducive to writing.  I think my brain took a vacation too but today I felt like writing.  I hope you enjoy.  You’ll also notice that we’ve been changing things up here.  We are still under construction so to speak and I am excited for new things.  Hope you are having a great summer and this little blurb speaks to you today.  Jen

Summer vacation. For the past eight years, we’ve gone north to a cottage. Our haven.
It’s quiet this morning. Mark and the boys have left for various activities. I’ve stayed behind.

I finished washing up the breakfast dishes and sat down with a second cup of java, out on the screened-in porch. A small SUV drives slowly past our driveway. He’s looking at something. I wonder if I know them. He stops just around the corner. I watch him get out and walk up the drive of our neighbour. I see him through the trees. What’s he doing?
He stops. His movement is deliberate. He’s got a camera and he’s photographing something. The way he’s moving, the camera, make me think there is a deer. I can’t see it. Deer come by the cottage quite regularly. I continue to observe the scene. He moves in closer. Slowly.

Suddenly I hear a car. This guy’s deer time is over, I think. However it’s just the opposite. Deer time for me has just begun. The deer come out into the open where I can now see them. A mama and her fawn. All gangly legs and soft caramel. They don’t run. Just wander closer to the edge of the property. The guy is still. I am too. 
More cars pass by. The deer stops at the road. Once it’s clear, the two run across. It was an awesome encounter. That guy had a beautiful meeting with the two deer. Because I stopped too, I was drawn into an encounter I had already missed once.

I’m pretty sure those deer were in the backyard and I didn’t see them. Just like all the cars racing by missed them. The kitchen sink overlooks the backyard. I stood there for five minutes at least. And never looked out the window. I was focused on dishes. What I had to do next. Random thoughts. I missed the wonder of the deer family.

But the guy driving the SUV not only SAW them, he chose to spend some time with them. He was intentional about his encounter with deer.

What did it cost him? The inconvenience of pulling to the side of the road, picking up his camera and getting out. He walked up the drive of someone else’s cottage. Thankfully no one was home. He stood, watched, and enjoyed a part of nature that he probably doesn’t see every day.

I think about the cars passing by, oblivious. That’s us so often isn’t it? We miss so much.

To be intentional requires slowing down. Stopping whatever we are doing. Spending that outrageously expensive commodity, time. Our kids call for the millionth time in about a minute. Do we stop and be intentional with them? The meal has been fixed with care and love. Do we stop and chew? Smell and savour each bite? When people are intentional with me, I know it. It’s a gift they are giving me. Do I give it back to those around me? Not often enough.

What do we get if we TURN to being intentional?

Beauty. The graceful movement of the deer was breathtakingly beautiful. A natural ballet. The interaction between the mama and the fawn, heartwarming. She made sure that her baby was on her way safely and then followed. Love done right, is gorgeous.

Peace. Other than the cars, the scene unfolded in quiet and awe. It was a moment plucked out of the day that will stay with me. And I only caught half of it. But I’m so glad I did.

It was a beautiful nudge that I haven’t been intentional lately. I haven’t wanted to be. I didn’t want to stop and think. Filling my time with stuff is a good way to numb the senses and keep God at a distance. Keep a lot of things at an arm’s length.

Turning to intentionality means focusing; on the moment. The thought. The people. It is active. The guy had to stop his vehicle. Get out and watch.

By being intentional, turning towards that one thing calling you out, you can have an encounter. With someone. Something. Maybe God.

Because having a random meeting with a deer and a guy who knew enough to slow down, wasn’t just an encounter with them. It was a meeting up with God. Pausing long enough to have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart open to the gift it’s being offered.

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