Friday, September 30, 2011

Reordering My Priorities

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:11-12 (NIV)

Life gets out of hand sometimes. There are days when there are just not enough hours to get everything done that needs to be done. Or, to rephrase that, what I think needs to be done. Usually, those are the days that I'm exhausted by early afternoon and I've lost my desire to get anything else done that day. I've lost the zeal that Paul is talking about in this verse.

I think God is trying to tell me something today. I get the Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotion in my email each morning. Today's devotion was titled, "Why Am I In Such A Hurry?". It was about slowing down and letting God take care of the details. About allowing Him to plan my day. The author, Lynn Cowell, gave this suggestion: take a piece of paper and make three columns. Label the first column "Things No One Else Can Do"; the second column, "Things I Do, But Could Delegate"; and the third column, "Things I Choose To Do". Then place the things that fill my life into the appropriate column and use this paper as my prayer list, asking God which of these things He wants me to keep on the list, which ones He wants me to delegate to others and which ones He wants me to give up completely. I think I'm going to follow this suggestion, especially because the holidays are coming up and then, right after that, tax season. And I can get very, very busy during these months and still feel like nothing gets done. Funny thing happens, though, when I give my day to God first thing in the morning: the important stuff gets taken care of! My day gets prioritized properly. I can get my blog posted, clean the house, do some work for my clients, meet with friends, get groceries shopped for, make dinner and even deal with anything unexpected happening. The non-important stuff tends to fall to the wayside and I don't miss it!! Amazing!!

Today was one of those days that I didn't turn over to God and I can tell. Oh, I prayed as soon as I woke up this morning. But I had overslept and it was one of those prayers that didn't cover all the bases it should have for the day. So, here I am at 9:20 PM, writing my blog. Not that it wasn't a good day - I met a wonderful friend, her daughter and granddaughter for coffee, spent some time with my youngest son, started taxes for a new client, had dinner with my husband, stopped by my mom's to write a letter to an insurance company for her - but I feel as if I left God out of my priorities today. There were other things that I really needed to get done today, things that would have gone in the "Things No One Else Can Do" column if I had one. And they were left undone. Had I prioritized my day with God at the helm, I truly believe those things would have gotten done.

Will I forget or neglect to reorder my priorities around God in the future? You can count on it. But, because my God is so awesome, He'll give me another chance, and another, and another. He'll keep reminding me, through verses such as the one above, to get back on track, find the enthusiasm and fervor and give my days to Him and the priorities He sets for my life.

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.” Ezra Taft Benson
Dear Lord, help me to reorder my priorities each day to be in line with Your will for me. I don't ever want to be too busy for you. Show me what is important each day and teach me to let the unimportant stuff go. May my zeal and spiritual fervor for You never be lacking. I want to be joyful and full of hope, patient during times of trouble and continually in contact with You during the day. May You always be first in my priorities. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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