How Two Buddhist Monks Taught Me Intentionality

How busy it has been, friends!

Now that I’m back to reality after vacationing in Michigan and starting my new job at Berardi Partners, I can officially say my new reality is more than I could have imagined!

Since my position allows me complete flex-time, I am allowed to come in as early or late as I want (with some guidelines, obviously)! It has been incredible being able to take control of my schedule and finally feel refreshed and not rushed after a good night’s sleep!

As I was heading to work last Friday, I suddenly noticed two Buddhist monks trying to cross US-3 at my intersection; as any curious driver such as myself would do, I waited at the traffic light and observed what would happen.

We all know what we’ve been taught in elementary school: many monks choose to isolate themselves from the rest of society to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of their religion. Therefore, I thought it very interesting to see them out and about in a very busy area of town. I was drawn to their wardrobe and shaved heads, but instead of laughing and judging them, it got me thinking about what statement they were making to their passerby’s.

According to World Religious News, Buddhists monks (in particular) wear robes because they strip down all the personal attributes and aspects that one would easily use to define you or identify who you are.

I found this statement really interesting because it made me turn to myself and think of what Jesus says to His disciples in the Gospel of John:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Everyone will know we are followers of Jesus by how we love one another. Do people see Jesus in me? Can they tell this because of how I care for and love them? How compassionate am I being to strangers? Would Jesus say to me well done, my good and faithful servant, or would He be disappointed?

I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to observe my surroundings and try to see how I can love those around me. My prayer life has pretty much become a bust, and I haven’t been the best at listening to God’s calling for me in the day to day.

So how can we fix this? By being more intentional of noticing how we react to our environment.

For example, I don’t take the freeway to work anymore, so that means I drive straight through some of the toughest parts of Linden. Instead of trying to rush through that area of town, I decided to take that time and pray for the people residing there. This decision humbles me to remember that no matter what struggles I have in life, I can always pray.

This week I challenge you to come up with three different ways you can actively love a community you don’t normally serve. Break these ideas up into easy steps and try to mark one off each week until you’re done!

Pray for your heart and where God is pushing you through John 13. You never know, your next dream might be waiting right around the corner.