For this reason He says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine [as dawn] upon you and give you light.” Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil. Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17
I love this text from the Bible, it calls us to wake up and be intentional. As leaders, our call is to be a solution, bring a solution and awake others to becoming the solution too. There are some words that ignite me as I read through this text.
Walk carefully: This speaks to me about intentionality. If life is a road that we journey on it seems we should be walking aware, looking where we are walking and paying attention to where we go. Since moving to New Zealand we have had the opportunity to do a few walks and the tracks are absolutely breathtaking, but the paths, which normally head uphill can be dangerous, with roots sticking out and rocks and slippery paths if it has been raining. So when you are walking you are walking carefully watching where your feet go and stopping to take in the beauty. Living life with honour, purpose and courage takes deliberate watchful steps. It is very easy to live life in “zombie mode” or “auto-pilot”.
Not as the unwise: Proverbs is an awesome book, filled with wisdom. It spells out what wise and unwise behaviour is. I personally think that Proverbs is the best business book on the planet. Try it out, they are 31 Chapters of Proverbs, one for each day of the week, it has been a practice of mine for many years to read a Chapter a day, it has amazed me time and time again how relevant they have been. Wisdom isn’t just about knowing, it is about knowing and doing. Become intentional about getting to know lady Wisdom today.
Making the most of your time: We all have the same amount of hours, yet some people are able to fill their days with life changing, meaningful work and others seem to be running around but achieving very little. I would say we have all experience a measure of both at some point of our lives, but to live in the space of having a fruitful life day in and day out, takes a life of intention. John Maxwell, at the recent Global Leadership Summit, said “We all have uphill dream and downhill habits” If we want to achieve those huge goals in our lives we need to be making the most of our time by watching that our habits are conducive to the goals we would like to achieve.
Taking advantage of each opportunity: When you are living on purpose you know where you are going and you will be looking for the opportunities. Just as when we are walking up these tracks, we are walking carefully, but we are also always on the look out for signs of new paths or directions so firstly, we don’t get lost, but also that we don’t miss the opportunity to see a beautiful waterfall or clear blue stream. When we are living intentional lives there are many treasures to find and lessons to learn. We need to be open and on the look out for new paths or new discoveries.
Firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is: This one really excites me, we are no longer slaves but friends of God, we are privy to his plans and purposes and secrets. We need to be leaning in to hear and learn. I truly believe that Christian’s should be the most innovative and creative people on the planet, we have access to the creator of the world, for goodness sake! When was the last time you took some time, to ask God for a creative idea for your strategy, next marketing move or even a new service or product.
I dare you, this month, lean in, put your head on His chest and ask Him for a new fresh idea. He is not a distant God, He is a right here a breathe away and He is interested in you.