Daily D – Psalm 32:8
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (NIV)
A reminder popped up on my computer this morning. Today is the day I scheduled a couple of years ago for my annual review. Scheduling quarterly and annual reviews two years in advance and updating these schedules as each marker is passed help us succeed in the rhythms of intention and reflection.
Living intentionally is about planning ahead under God’s leading the life you were meant to live. It is about giving attention to what is most important in each season of your life.
There are four seasons in a year, even in Texas, at least according to the calendar. Each ninety-day season is a unique opportunity for growth and development. Rather than making resolutions for the New Year, which people most often give up on by the second week of February and then do not think about again for a full year, why not have one overarching goal every ninety days?
A good, well-planned ninety-day goal provides an opportunity to have four big wins each year. Even if you only make it three-fourths of the way toward your goal, celebrate the progress. Count it as a win. Then begin again more intelligently on your next ninety-day goal.
Here are the four big areas of your life to consider every ninety days:
* Your relationship with God
* Your relationship with your family
* Your work
* Your recreation
My first ninety-day goal for 2023 is related to recreation. Recreation is more than hobbies like tennis, golf, and kayaking. Recreation includes daily and weekly routines to provide us with the physical capacities we need to live life well. It can include exercise, diet, and rest.
A daily walk of thirty minutes not only helps you feel better physically, it also helps you think more clearly. It provides time to pray about what God brings to mind. It can build healthy, wholesome relationships when you take someone with you.
Many people do not get enough sleep. An article on sleep hygiene a few years ago stated that six hours is a critical minimum. Sleeping less than six hours is as bad for us as if we do not sleep at all.
Choosing the right food and drink in the right measure at each meal is also an important physical goal that helps us in our work, play, and rest. Eating the wrong thing at the wrong time, especially within an hour of bedtime, can throw us off course or prevent us from functioning at peak efficiency.
What should you focus on in this first ninety days of the New Year? When will you review your ninety-day goals this year and next? Go ahead and place those dates on your calendar to protect their priority nature. If something comes up and you need to move them, do so. Do not eliminate them, however.
The fourth quarterly review serves as your annual review. You take time to reflect on the wins in each of the four seasons now passed. You also learn from where you did not succeed as wildly as you hoped. Again, this helps you begin again more intelligently.
Four questions provide evergreen guidance as you reflect on the ninety days or year now passed.
- What’s right? (Maximize it)
- What’s wrong? (Minimize it)
- What’s confused? (Clarify it)
- What’s missing? (Add it)
One other question for consideration in this review is, “What are the core issues that I wrestle with again and again?” These core issues are areas where you may want to seek assistance from a leadership coach or a professional counselor. It’s amazing what we can accomplish under God’s direction when we get out of our own way.
God promises to provide us with his guidance when we seek it. Psalm 32:8 is one such verse:
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
The New Living Translation puts it this way:
I will advise you and watch over you.’”
Turn this verse into a prayer:
Our Father, guide me along the best pathway for my life today. Teach me. Advise me. Watch over me. Protect me. Defend me. Amen
Find other verses like it and commit them to memory. Use them as prayer prompts each morning and every time during the day when you need his guidance. Psalm 143:8 has served me well for many years now:
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
- Bring 2022 to a gracious ending.
- Begin 2023 with gladness and expectancy.
- Develop the rhythms and routines of intention and reflection.
I will live a life of intention and reflection under God’s guidance.
Our Father, as I have prayed thousands of times, and as you have been faithful to answer more than I have asked, show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”