BY LEANN DILBECK –
My biggest enemy every single day? Time. And I know I’m not alone. So many technological improvements that they claim were made to make life easier have seemed to only complicate life rather than simplify…at least to me it seems. We are an incredibly hyper-connected, instant gratification society that has utterly devalued the word “wait.” In fact, we’ve stricken the word… the very idea of the word… from most of our vocabularies… unless it is to say we won’t wait before we try a different number, new provider, better source, easier site… you get the idea.
With all of this “hyper-connectivity” it has become more challenging to find that perfect “balance of life.” It is so easy to get sucked into the “rat-race” that we just keep running as fast as we can on that little wheel and instead of getting faster, the wheel just seems to get bigger that we must run even faster to keep the pace to make the same number of circles as when the wheel was smaller.
We have two children and they are at those active ages where they are involved in their own activities and have their own social lives. At their current ages, we only permit them one extra-curricular activity outside of school commitments along with their church activities/services. And yet, sometimes there are still scheduling conflicts, even at their tender ages, with their extra-curricular activities, school commitments, church commitments, family, etc. The rule we’ve always told them is God first, family, and then everything else. What an incredible blessing it has been to watch them use those priorities in making their own choices! Even though they may not always like the choice, they use those priorities to make their scheduling decisions.
As adults, we know how hard the challenges are to keeping those priorities. For some, the fear of putting family first will cost them a promotion or respect at the workplace. Or, the choice to not take your family to church because after all, that’s the only morning to sleep in. Or, maybe after shopping, eating out, and paying all the bills, there’s simply nothing left to put in the tithes.
While it says it clearly multiple times throughout the Bible, nothing says it clearer than Proverbs 3:6 – “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” It says “all” not some or occasional. In every single act or decision we make, we must first make sure we are putting Him first. We must first make sure we are honoring Him with that decision. We must first make sure we are not giving him the left-overs. We must first make sure that we are not allowing our own fleshly desires to supercede our Creator’s. He always puts our needs and our best interests first, and He desires…He commands us to do the same.
When we do, He will change our hearts so that it is not always a conscious act but automatic. When we see the differences by doing life His way… it inspires us to seek Him more… to honor Him more in all areas of our lives.
In putting Him first, our lives become simplified once again. The chaos has been removed and the security, peace and joy of a structured life is restored… because we no longer have to battle out in our minds our priorities of the day… He’s already done that for us. He is our structure. He is our North. He is our priority.
Yes, emergencies will arise. Yes, hiccups in the schedule are going to happen. Yes, our ducks will not always swim in a perfectly straight line. And yes, putting Him first and giving Him the first of everything is always the right choice.
It’s a decision that you can feel good about and others will respect. My commitment to my family prevents me from attending every single event that the public would like for us to but when we explain the choice, I have never been ridiculed for it… people have always been willing to work around it.
The demands of life sometimes feel as if we are no longer in control and are being pulled in every direction… but when we remain centered on the One who is the source of all life, it becomes easier to take control back and plug in to the Restorer… the Designer of life… the only One who understands how short life really is. “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” – James 4:14
Let us all prioritize to live our lives to hear the words “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
All for His glory –