Daily Intentional Encounters

By Rhonda Jones

My head has been spinning with lots of fresh ideas since this new year has begun. What will 2018 unfold for me?   The main thought that keeps returning to my mind is the need to be present and intentional in all my relationships.

Last week my husband and I went out to dinner and the first thing we did when we sat down to the table was bring out our cell phones as we waited for our food.  Was there anything wrong with this picture?  I looked around the restaurant and saw that everybody else was doing the same thing (justification, right)?

And then I began taking a deeper look at myself.  God revealed to me that when the waitress came to the table, rarely did I look her directly in the eye and engage in personal conversation.   It was as if I saw a moving picture of myself going through the day, touching the lives of people around me but not really “engaging” with them.   What a sad motion picture my life had become!  I had to repent and ask God to help me wake up to the moments in my life that He intends for me.

A day later, I was walking through Bell-Square and just as I approached the opening to Macy’s Department Store, a tiny girl toddled out with such great enthusiasm of being able to walk (you could see the pride all over her face) that I just had to laugh and say, “Well, look at you, Princess…you go, girl!”  Her mama was right behind her, encouraging her to step out and explore the world around her.  Right then I knew I had just experienced a godly encounter and thanked Jesus for that little moment of joy He brought to my heart.

I believe that every moment we live is a moment God has planned for us (See Jeremiah 29:11-13), whether we travel a smooth path with rich blessings or a deep valley of sadness, sorrow or pain.  And I also believe that He brings people into our lives for an intentional purpose, whether they encourage us, or we in turn do the same for them.  But that won’t happen unless we become vulnerable enough to allow God to show us how to see the people around us with His eyes, from His godly perspective. 

I Samuel 16:7b says: “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  

 So, here is my daily prayer for 2018: “Lord, help me live my life today from Your perspective, serving those I encounter with a humble heart filled with love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

(Rhonda Jones is the Music Director at Washington Cathedral.  She’s been involved with the music ministry for almost 23 years, was a single mom for 15 years and met her husband Ted at this church.  Her testimony is one of God’s faithfulness through times of abandonment and loneliness, healing and restoration.  She always welcomes anyone willing to praise God with their voice into the Cathedral Choir).