Do you ever wonder if this could happen? You never manage your money, you have no savings account, you don't keep track of your spending, you have no budget, and you never pay off your credit card debt, but you wake up one morning and discover you're a millionaire.
Or you never work out, you eat whatever you feel like, you have no exercise program, and you spend the night in a La-Z-Boy chair watching TV, but one day you discover you can run a marathon, or you're single, you never bathe, you never deodorize, you never brush your teeth, you never wash your clothes, and you come to church one day and the most beautiful, attractive person you've ever seen says, "Come sit next to me! You smell fantastic!"
Of course, that never happens, and here's the point. You can live by design or you can live by default. If I live by design, I will be intentional about my life. I have a purpose greater than myself and I pursue it with zeal. I look for friends who will hold me accountable to my values. I examine my life on a regular basis. I live with a strong sense of determination.
A classic picture of this in the Bible is Jesus. When he was 12 years old, his mom scolded him for staying behind in Jerusalem at the temple. "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be about my Father's business?" An amazing sense of purpose, and we see it all the way through his life.
I can live by design with my one and only life God gives me, or I can live by default. Now, this looks very different. To live by default means I just follow the path of least resistance. I just kind of drift. I know something is wrong. I'm stressed or I'm tired or my marriage is stagnant, or I have bad habits, or I'm not connected with God in the way I would want to be. I'm not becoming the person or living the life I want to, but I don't have the energy of commitment to do what's right. People at work have a bad attitude. I just kind of do, too.
That's where we end up by drift. If I don't choose gratitude by design, I get ingratitude by default. If I don't choose community by design, I get isolation by default. If I don't choose joy by design, I get resentment by default. To live by design does not mean you have to be hyper-organized or a list-maker or something like that. It just means to embrace the life God has for you and live by your values.
Am I connecting by design or by default? You have a bodily life. It's amazing. You have a work life. What a remarkable gift! Don't take that for granted. You have a relational life. There are other human beings in your world who love and care for you or want to. You have. A spiritual life. Above everything else, you and I were designed for life with God. In fact, this is the great design secret of our universe. The whole universe was created, and the earth was brought into existence so that this magnificent God could come live with human beings and we would work on this great project together.
The Word became flesh, so let’s get some skin in the game!