"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Straightening Priorities

Earlier today, I began to ponder upon all of the upcoming events that required my attention and presence. My mind began to become filled with clutter as I thought about all the places I am to be and at what times. I began to think of how I could get from this function to that one and still be able to have enough energy to do something that actually relaxes me, like read a chapter in a good book, or watch a good movie. In the process of me planning out everything that was to come, I neglected to include my quiet time with God. How sad!

I don't know about you, but I have been really focused on cleaning my "spiritual closet" this week. I am noticing now that after a few pieces of the clutter left, I began to see things more clearly with my spiritual eyes. My ears, eyes, and heart have been open and anxious to hear from God. Remember when I said that we don't always like the response we get from God; well, I can be a testimony to that this week. I do realize however, that the things I don't want to hear and see are the very things that make me grow spiritually. Some of the clutter that was in my "spiritual closet" was due to me not having my priorities straight.

As Christians, we do lots of "stuff". We want to help others, we want to be on committees, and we want to make it to church as much as possible. But, why are we doing these things? Why are we ripping and running all over town? Why are we tired, worn out, and stressed? Why are we always the one to volunteer for a program or committee? (Or someone volunteers us, and we just don't want to say no.) What are our motives?

Last night, Pastor S.T. Radford preached a sermon on letting some people go in your life. He presented a very tough question; "Who are you trying to please?" We all want to be acceptable in society, so we find ourselves doing things that we really don't want to do simply because we want the approval of others. Pastor Radford even suggested that we ask ourselves why we are around those people in the first place? Is it what we can do for them or what they can do for us? Or, are we truly connected, which means we love one another come what may. These were some tough questions for me to ask myself. I answered them, and it all came down to prioritizing my life.

I had to think, how many times, I do "extra" stuff in my day that takes time away from my quiet time with God. I really enjoy writing because it makes me dedicated to Bible study. (That may be why God placed the thirst for it in my soul ; ) So many days, I have been focused on people and what people wanted me to do. When I finally got a little quiet moment, I was so bogged down, tired, stressed, and even worn out that I fell asleep, or made excuses for not spending time with God. This is bondage! No one can move when they are in bondage, and we know that we should be moving closer to Christ daily! My God, please forgive me!

Now, please don't take what I am writing to mean that we should not participate in activities and such, but if that is taking precedence over our quiet time with God, there may be too much on our plate. If you do everything else during the day, and you are too tired to read your Bible, pray, or meditate upon His goodness, it is time to straighten your priorities. If you take a little time to read Mark chapters one, two, and three, you will find that Jesus' life was just as busy as ours. Half of Jesus' 33 years on the earth was spent focused on His ministry. People demanded things of him, and he had pressures also. He still found quiet time to spend with His Father.

God provides us with the strength that we need in order to complete the tasks on our daily to do lists. He chose our to do lists before we were born. However, you know how we are; we came along and created our own to do list. I need to straighten my priorities and ask God what His to do list is for me each and every day. I know that His number one is; just spend some time with Me.

So God, today I say that I love you. Forgive me for giving you my leftover time. Thank you for allowing me to see clearly that I need to prioritize my life, and put my quiet time with you first on the to do list. Lord, help me to make my to do list, Your to do list for my life each and every day. Thank you for the strength you give. Lord, I long to rest in your presence. Please continue to keep me and sustain me so that I may live for You. I realize that without you, I am nothing!


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