This Saturday I came away buzzing from the "Faith at Work" conference, it was just what I needed in the last weekend of half term. I needed that space to be reminded of why it is I went in to teaching and why it is I choose to live the way I live. I also challenged me to think how I could do it better.
I went into teaching because I wanted to help give hope to those who felt they didn't have any. I want to show them their potential. God has given me compassion particularly for those who haven't had someone to champion them, to speak truth and encouragement into their lives. I get excited when a student starts to feel safe in my classroom, when they trust me enough to participate in a lesson. When they are brave enough to show their true selves, to smile. But in the business of a teaching day, it is easy to forget. It is easy to get impatient and grumpy and overlook what is important. It is easy to resent how much time it takes up and how tired you get. It is easy to live for the weekend and buy into the "Monday morning blues."
At the "Faith at Work" conference, I was challenged to embrace work. God called us to work. It was meant to be a privilege and it was the curse that made it into a chore. We have all been given gifts and abilities to invest into His kingdom and we will be asked to account for what we did with our time. I am not entirely convinced I will be happy with what I have to say when I meet Him face to face. I think I could do life a whole lot better.
God has been speaking to me over the last year a lot about intention and it cropped up again at the conference. About being intentional with my time and relationships. With being intentional with how I spend my time and who I choose to do that with. It all started with a book my dad got for me for my birthday that was all about making sure our weekends are restful yet full. It was all about being intentional, choosing what you really want to do and doing it exceptionally well. If you want to have a duvet day because you are tired, what would make it an exceptional duvet day? Being intentional is about having a choice. Its not drifting in to activities and then feeling guilty. It is about living life to the full, guilt free.
I want to be intentional with every area of my life. I dont want to fall into habits and drift through. I dont want to separate my work life and the rest of it. I want to be intentional. I want to be all I can be in every part of my life. I want to be disciplined enough to get up each morning believing that God has his hand on my day and faithful enough to allow God to work through me. I want to live out my values and prioritise. I want to embrace the business and well as the rest.
So on the eve of another half term, or maybe for you it is another week. Why not be intentional with your time. Use every moment to the full. Dont get distracted, choose. Give everything you have to each second, value it enough to give it your full concentration. Maybe for you that will be turning facebook off when you are watching tv. Maybe it could be only watching the programmes you really want to watch, not channel hopping. Maybe it is choosing to get up each day and work hard and not resent it. Maybe it is remembering who God has called you to be in every area of your life. But whatever your week holds, I dare you choose intention over habit.