Intentional is a word used a lot in Taylor’s culture, as it is known for its intentional community among students and faculty, but do we really grasp what it means to be intentional?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, intentional means to act with intention, purpose or deliberation. However, are there other areas of life that we can be intentional about as we enter into the summer?
The Echo Editorial Board believes that there are three aspects of life that require intentionality: physicality, work and — most importantly — our spiritual lives. Being intentional in all aspects of our lives is a great way to honor God.
Taking care of our bodies through physical fitness is one way we can worship God. It is important to be intentional in exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Physical activity is important to me personally because of the way that I feel physically and emotionally,” senior exercise science major Riley Massey said. “My body is capable of doing more both physically and relationally.”
While it may seem difficult to keep up with a steady workout plan, especially if you do not have access to a gym outside of school, there are many ways to be intentional in physical fitness. One of the beautiful things about summer is that you can be outside all the time. An easy way to get some exercise in the summer is to go for a run outside. However, Massey says that if running is not your thing, other outdoor games such as spikeball, pickleball and basketball can be just as good for you.
Another area of life that we must be intentional in is our work life. Work is something that will be a part of our journey for pretty much the rest of our lives. Take time this summer to learn the habit of being intentional through your work.
Being intentional through a career can look many different ways. It can be seen through the relationships you build at your place of work or it can be seen through the time and effort you put into the task at hand. Work will be — and already is for some — such a central part of life, so take the time this summer to develop habits of intentionality through the work you are doing no matter where you are.
The most important part of our lives that we should be intentional with is our spiritual lives. While on campus, we are given the gift of attending chapel three days a week with our peers as well as participating in small groups with our floormates. Leaving campus, our faith must become more of our own, as we are not given the same spaces to learn about God.
The three months of summer provide us with time to deepen our relationship with the triune God. It is the perfect time for us to really make our faith our own.
“Our habits form us, so this is a really crucial time in life to develop life-giving habits for the next school year,” said Jenny Collins, professor of intercultural studies. “It is in our intentional time with God and His word that He shapes us as He is the potter and we are the clay.”
There are many ways to engage in the word of God, whether that be a daily devotional, a book about spiritual discipline or time spent in the Bible. Collins encourages students to engage with God’s voice through the Bible.
“Studying the Bible is an act of worship; it provides the script for our worship, narrates our identity, and fortifies our future hope,” Collins said. “We need a strong foundation of biblical truth to know ourselves, to know God, and to love him well.”
The summer provides an opportunity for students to focus on themselves and be intentional with things that matter. It allows time to build healthy habits that can be carried into the next school year or the next chapter of life. As you enter the summer, think about ways you can be intentional in all aspects of life; mind, body, soul and spirit.