It was one of those dreary, wet blanket kind of days where there’s no distinction between the sullen grey sky and the rain soaked pavement. From my window seat, I watched the soggy tarmac bustle with activity as I tried to tune out the angry phone conversation taking place in the seat next to me. Already feeling anxious and dreading the short trip ahead, the melancholy atmosphere enhanced my gloomy mood. I was only half paying attention as the flight attendant rattled off the safety instructions finally concluding her scripted delivery with, “Thank you for your intention.”
Wait….intention? Surely I misheard her.
As the plane hole-punched the dense clouds straining for clearer skies ahead, I kept turning that phrase over in my mind. It pleases God when we’re intentional in our moment to moment thoughts, words and actions. Be intentional. How often have we heard it? Yet, how challenging it is to live out on the daily. Walk in a way that points others to your hope. Choose to be salt and light. Choose joy despite your surroundings or circumstances.
24 hours later I returned to Charlotte Douglas and stepped into the ladies’ restroom, crowded with angsty travelers fixed on their own busy agendas. As I rounded the corner, I was greeted with such genuine warmth by the bathroom attendant that I looked over my shoulder to see if she was welcoming an acquaintance instead of me.
She enthusiastically met each new visitor with kindness and individually issued a “have a blessed trip” farewell to those leaving. You could see the countenance of those in line visibly lift with each cheerful word. Her compassionate spirit lit up an otherwise unsavory environment as she joyfully held open doors and handed out paper towels. A beautiful ambassador of the gospel, she was grace in action.
Ready to exit, I wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her intentionality, but she was busy helping a frazzled mom navigate a cranky, stroller-bound toddler through the narrow row of stalls, all the while humming, “this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
Let it shine Lord, let it shine.
1 Corinthians 15:58
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.