still trying

I've been mulling over my recent thoughts on intention, and making an effort to put it into practice. "Just try," I keep telling myself. It seems like a very important insight.

Focusing on the intention rather than the results, the act itself rather than the eventual outcome, keeps us in the present. And that's where God is: in the present moment. We encounter God here and now, and we receive God's support to do good in the moment when we are called on to do it. We can't experience the living love of God in the past or the future but only in the present. And that's what we need to do good, the love of God inspiring and energizing us.

I also like that God's focus on intention, or our trying, places the value of our actions in the action itself. We don't have to wait to see if the act was worth anything, when we see how it turns out. The value doesn't depend on luck or the responses of other people. The value is in the trying. What God chooses to do with that is God's responsibility and God's gift, and we can try to understand and appreciate and praise God for that. But the worth of our own choices and actions is in the trying, in the moment of action. The more I can find satisfaction in that, the less I'll be frustrated or afraid of results out of my control.

And it is often that fear that tempts us to resort to human power to get the results we want. When that focus on results is taken away, when what matters for me is the faithful trying to act well rather than producing a certain result, then much of the source of temptation is removed.