31 Days: Live Intentional {Day 4, Found Post!} — One Thing, and One Thing Only

by Lisa on October 5, 2011

After my ugly, self-indulgent, self-wallowing, pity party yesterday, I decided, while reclining in my warm morning-bed, I really can’t/couldn’t let things get much worse. After all how long do I want to go on looking up from the bottom of the basement? Not another bloody day, I concluded.

And, today is a new day. (Yippee!) A day filled with hope. A day for change. A day to try, try, try again. A day to take one step up onto the basement stairs. I must start climbing out of this (repeated) pit. I needed to set a goal/s—a positive, intentional course of action. What was my goal for today—His goal for me?


That was easy. Now came the tricky part. What was my one thing? After a moment’s ponder I decided I must read something—ANYTHING from the Bible.

I got up late (again), fumbled around to get the coffee ground and brewing before the wild monkeys were climbing the curtains. I traded in my pjs for a pair of jeans and tee shirt before our friends, and home school compadres, dropped off their kids for a couple of hours of play/school. I plodded through the kitchen, poured some coffee, and proceeded to make a frying pan heaped full of steaming, fresh scrambled eggs. Laid out the plates 1-5 on the counter and loaded them with breakfast gruel—eggs, yogurt, kiwi, apple, dried cranberry and a breakfast bar.

After the mom-short-order-cook-extraordinaire finished loading the table, I walked to my office/laundry room/school room/junk room/pantry. I grabbed another new favorite book (from my thrifting days at St. Vinnies)— Sermons on Old and New Testament Characters by Clovis G. Chappell. It’s an old book that was originally published in 1925, but the characters and themes are as timeless today as they were almost 100 years ago—and 4000+ years ago.

I opened the book to to chapter 7: The Forks of the Road—Moses. The chapter starts with a reading from Hebrews 11: 24-26

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”

Chappell’s sermon then gets right to the point:

“Moses is at the forks of the road.  A very revealing place is this spot where the roads fork. Here every man shows himself for what he is. One man comes to the forks of the road and undertakes to stand perfectly still. He is afraid  to turn either to the right hand or the left lest he go wrong. Or he travels the road to the left for a season, then retraces his steps for another season travels the road to the right. Such conduct indicates that he is afflicted with the fatal malady of indecision. When Moses comes to the forks of the road he refuses the one and sets himself steadfastly to travel the other. By so doing he shows himself a man of decision.”

Chappell later points out that by Moses decision to choose one path over another, forces him to say “No” to one thing and “Yes” to another.

“The truth of the matter is that Christ is calling on you to say “No” not simply because he wants you to practice self-denial as an end. He is calling on you to say “No” to the lower because that is absolutely necessary in order for you to say “Yes” to the highest. He is asking you to say “No” to the darkness because in no other way can you say “Yes” to the light. He is asking you to say “No” to the mud puddle in order that you may say “Yes” to the infinite sea. He is asking you to say “No” to the ant hill in order that you may say “Yes” to the majestic mountain. He is asking you to say “No” to sin in order that you may say “Yes” to righteousness. He is asking you to say “No” to uselessness in order that you may say “Yes”" to usefulness. He is asking you to say “No” to the Devil in order that you may say “Yes” to Himself.”

Isn’t that about what it means to live intentional? Say “No” to one thing in order that you may say “Yes” to another. Isn’t that what the Christian walk is about? “No” to self, and the world, and “Yes” to Christ. “No” to pity parties and “Yes” to live intentional.

I think today was a success!

Thank you, Lord, for the wisdom you show in your word, and that you care about us even in the mundane, small, day to day decisions we all get to make.


What is 31 Days? Read my other posts in this series here.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Annie October 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I love this post. I have been trying to do this particularly financially, and it reminds me of the term we learned in econ that means this saying yes to one thing and no to another: opportunity cost. I am always thinking of that term when I’m intentional with my money.

I saw your comment on my blog and am so glad you’re looking forward to 31 days of writing! I’m so excited to see where the month takes us.

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