As part of the human condition, we will naturally gravitate toward what is not good for us or others. It’s OK, we can all finally admit it – we are not inherently “good” by any definition of the word. This is unequivocally true when looking at the person of Christ for He is the only good man that has ever lived and died on this spinning rock.

Which brings me to the importance of being intentional and keeping the things our renewed heart longs for right in front of us and chasing hard after them. Because, as Christians, we have been changed at a fundamental level, life – true life is now obtainable in a world where death is all around.

I’ve been reminded (again) that life is not found alone – for some reason, God designed life to be found, experienced and given in the context of intentional relationships. Seeking out others and doing everything you can to ensure the relationship survives thrives is what is required.

If you look at the life of Jesus, He chose His followers with a great deal of intentionality – seeking out just the right men to train and eventually hand over the future of His church. It wasn’t random or left to chance – it was tactical precision based on the end He knew was coming.

For us, such precision isn’t possible because we can’t see the end of our story, so we have to explore and evaluate what God is doing when He brings people into our lives. Sometimes, it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but being open to taking a look is the key.

James Bryan Smith writes in the last chapter of “The Good and Beautiful God” about pickles. It is an analogy to God’s people and just as the ordinary cucumber is transformed into the mighty pickle through the right environment over time, we are transformed when we soak in His spices (Prayer & Scripture) and bunch up with other people in the process throughout life.

Making pickles is a very intentionally transformational process – one that can’t be rushed and produces a wonderfully unexpected result. It is time we become intentional about relationships again and commit to putting the small stuff behind us and allowing the Grace of God to overcome our bumpy exteriors.

Who is in your life that knows EVERYTHING about you and loves you anyway? If the answer is “nobody”, let me suggest that you add that request to your prayer time. It might take some trust and will for sure take some faith, but in the end, we were always meant to be a Sweet Baby Gherkin rather than just small cucumbers.