We are just a couple of weeks into a new year and already I’m failing on my years goals. I resolved to get fit for 40 last year (I’m currently 37 and a half) and I also wish to learn the guitar, (I’m tone deaf). So 3 weeks in, my getting fit is limited to just half an hour a day of rigorous exercise (most days) and squeezing in 10 minutes of guitar practice between getting home from work, collecting my son from school, preparing and cooking dinner and other duties and responsibilities I have in my life. I’m sure you understand my pain.
It all boils down to priorities.
Yet priorities itself is a strange word. It cannot really be used for a collection of most important things because the word itself means the most important thing to be done before all others. So what is the priority? It’s a tough question to answer isn’t it?
Personally I’d like a great relationship with my wife that requires time, love and effort. I’d like to have boys that are in awe of their dad, growing as people and succeeding at school. Of course I want to be an effective disciple of Jesus with daily quiet times, devotions and mindful contemplation. I wish to be fit and healthy so my 40’s 50’s and beyond are with as few health surprises as possible and I want to have projects that stretch my mind and body to keep me sharp. You see?
None of these things are bad things to wish for. What it’s meant for me so far is the abandonment of time wasting. I’ve become a lot more focused on the things that I really value and really wish to change. However I still find myself getting sucked in. You know when facebook pings or that app sends a reminder, the kids are watching some mindless t.v. and you can’t help but slip into the thought numbing comatose that comes with it.
The key thing to remember in all of this is to remember what Jesus taught us about what’s most important. What our actual priorities ought to be.
During Jesus ministry time on earth His life was pretty busy, from teaching His followers in small groups to large crowds, to healing people and casting out demons. He managed all of this and more with passion and a plan. He knew what His mission was and He shared it with us in Marks account of His life.
Mark 12:28-34 ESV
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
We shouldn’t fret about getting our plans achieved but trust that God is working His divine plan out in our lives, through opportunities and challenges, He directs our path.
Proverbs 16:9 ESV
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stressed that you can’t ‘get it all done’ rest in the knowledge that your right, yet remain invested in your plan for the long-haul and be amazed at what God can do over time.
Stick at it, love God, love people and let’s make 2017 our best year yet.