. . . He stops upon this threshold
As if the design of all his words takes form
And frame from his thinking and is realized.
(Wallace Stevens)

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HOW MUCH OF THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON YOUR “DESIGNS”? Think for a moment about the meaning of the word. Apart from its more common use, “design” can mean “a reasoned purpose, an intention.” It’s often used in a negative sense (“He has designs on his neighbor’s wife”), but it can also be used positively. Our designs are our intentions with regard to the future, and, as I say, much that is important to us depends on these designs. High-quality lives don’t come from inferior designs.

What happens outwardly in our lives is the manifestation of what is going on inwardly. Just as a house is the manifestation of what was on the blueprint from which it was made, which in turn was the manifestation of a design in the mind of the architect, our lives are the outworking of our inward values and goals. If we’re unhappy with what has been manifested in our lives, we can always change our designs, and when we do, other things will begin to be manifested.

We owe it to those around us, especially our loved ones, to be more purposeful in our designs. Those who’ve entrusted themselves to us in friendship and love need to know that we’ve carefully considered the alternatives and made wise choices in our designs. Haphazard living doesn’t just hurt us; it hurts others too. We need to be careful.

Ultimately, our designs will turn out to be useless if they run counter to the principles of goodness and honor. We can’t operate from selfish or destructive intentions and expect our outward lives to be blessed by abundant joy and satisfaction. We do not live unto ourselves alone, and the laws of human behavior and interaction can’t be ignored with impunity. Our designs — that is, what we plan to be and do — must harmonize with the good of those around us, and even with the overarching purposes of the whole creation of which we’re a part. If they don’t, our designs are doomed to be inconsequential.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.
(Thomas Ken)

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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