Living with Intent – Daniel Norris

February 2, 2018
Daniel Norris. Photo Credit: Ben Moon

Each week, I meet with my mentor from back home to study the Bible. A few months ago, he challenged me to focus on one word this year. It took me a while to figure out what that one word might be. It’s easy to choose certain words just because they come to your mind first, but as I thought and prayed about what my focus should be on this year, the word “intent” stuck with me.


I want to be intentional about everything I do. Whether that’s pitching, working out, worshipping God or having conversations with people. So many times I get into a conversation with someone else and find myself thinking about other things, but that’s not the way to have a meaningful or intentional interaction with someone. I want to be better about that.


In baseball, I want every pitch I throw to have intent. Not that I ever pitch without intent, but I want to really focus on thinking about what type of pitch I want to throw, why and what I want to happen when it leaves my hand.

When I’m in God’s Word, I want to be intentional about what I’m reading and my desire to learn more about Him. I need to be intentional about diving into His Word, not just on a surface level, but really diving deep. It’s easy to read the Bible for 10 minutes and then go about the rest of your day, forgetting the truth you’ve read. But I don’t want to do that. Instead, I want to be implementing the truth I’m learning from Scripture into my life.


But we all know everyday life can often get in the way. There are so many times when I know I need to set aside time to be alone with God, but all of a sudden I get phone calls or distractions leading me away from my time with God. Or I have plans to do this or plans to do that, and these are not necessarily bad things, but if they are taking me away from spending time with God, then I need to prioritize my life differently.


What’s most important needs to come first and foremost in my life. Being intentional about my walk means that God always comes first, no matter what. Everything else can wait.


It all starts with being in the Word. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Studying Scripture every day, whether by reading God’s Word or going through a devotional book, is critical for personal faith growth. Being dialed into the truth of God’s Word is really important. If I am faithful and intentional about reading God’s truths, they remain on my mind and heart, and begin to transform my actions.


Focusing on one word this year will help me regain focus on what’s important. It’s easy to have an idea of what you want to work on and where you want to be in your walk with God, relationships and baseball career. But unless you have something to look back to — something that helps you stay locked in — you can slip back into the normal routine. This year, I want to be intentional. That’s my focus.


— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher


Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


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