I have a natural aversion to buzzwords.  While they are employed with great frequency throughout our society, it is Christian culture in particular that seems to be the most fertile buzzword breeding ground on the planet.  If you want to be taken seriously as a cutting-edge disciple or hailed as a spiritual sage, it is imperative that you pepper your parlance with a proficient mastery of the latest, hippest, coded vocabulary.

Are you being missional?  Relational?  Attractional?  Incarnational?  Authentic?  Relevant?  Transparent?  Do you have the confidence and comfort level to abandon the use of definite and indefinite articles when speaking about categorical concepts such as “story” and “community?”

“Buzz-Saw Louie” was the name of the highly prized and advertised toy in the cleverly written (weren’t they all?) VeggieTales episode, “The Toy That Saved Christmas.”  “Buzzword Louie” (or “Louise”) is the epithet that invariably pops into my head when I encounter a speaker or writer who seems intent on setting a new world record for the highest buzzword to word count ratio.  I have to consciously work against the gravitational pull of judgmentally attributing their choice of words to either shallowness or pretentiousness.  I know that sounds really harsh and surly, but I’m just trying to be “transparent” here!  In truth, I have to be extremely “intentional” about it.  Segue…!!!

Despite being up-to-date on all of my buzzword vaccinations, “intentional” is a term that has somehow managed to breach my defenses, infiltrate my system, and take root in my thinking.  Initially, the word and its cognates were met with my typical “first responder” attitude of smart-alecky cynicism.  “Are you living intentionally, Tim?”  Yeah, pretty much!  I “meant to do” just about everything I did today!

Maybe it’s maturity (I hope so) or the Holy Spirit (I hope so), but I have begun to give “intentionality” a chance.  I have moved beyond my first blush, dismissive (arrogant, perhaps?) reactionism, and have come to the realization that I could genuinely benefit spiritually, emotionally, and physically by living more intentionally.

I have come to realize that much of my life has been spent merely reacting to things that were going on around me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think I have done a fairly decent job of it, but shouldn’t there be more to life than just “responding well” to what is being dictated by others or thrown at me by forces and circumstances beyond my control?  Is that really life or just existence?

I don’t want to live my life incidentally or accidentally.  I don’t want to just “take it as it comes” and follow the path of least resistance.  I want to live my life “on purpose”  and “with purpose” when it comes to deepening my relationship with Jesus and strengthening relationships with my wife, my children, my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, etc.  I want to be “deliberate” in my prayer life, study, evangelism, and service to others.  I realize more than ever that none of these things are ever going to “just happen.”

So, sign me up for being more intentional in 2013.  I may even go “all in” and start playing buzzword bingo, but only in a way that is truly authentic and relevant.

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