A Year to Prioritize

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 1, 2015 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Happy New Year! I pray God's blessings on you for 2015! 2014 was a fantastic year with many things—both good and bad—happening. My family was blessed with welcoming into our family a little girl who was born in September. Tragically and unexpectedly, we lost my grandmother just 60 hours later. I'm sure many of us can tell lots of stories of wonderful things that occurred in 2014 as well as many tragic things. The world is in upheaval and our nation seems to be struggling on several fronts.

All these things swirling around in my mind get me thinking about priorities. Have you ever considered your priorities? I mean really thought about them—listed them in order of importance. I suggest doing this every so often, and what better time than the start of 2015!

Take a few moments and consider what you truly value. What is really important? We say lots of things are important to us but our time spent really tells the story, doesn't it? If we say it's important to spend time with our aging family but we never do it, is it really important? If we say that reading the Bible daily is important to us be we read it every couple weeks, is it really something we hold in high regard?

So here's my challenge to you: list your priorities and number them from most to least important. Do this for your top 5 priorities. So if reading God’s Word and praying every day are very important and you truly want to spend time doing them, list them as two of your top 5. If playing video games or watching YouTube videos is a high priority, place them in the top 5. Spending time with a special someone or an aging or ailing family member could be on your list. Working a lot so you can save money for something could be there. Taking responsibility for your health—what you eat and how you exercise as well as your sleeping patterns may need to be dialed in a bit. Hanging out with friends that positively influence you could be on the list. Your priorities should be whatever you feel are the absolutely most important things in your life that you dedicate time and/or money to.

Please be as specific as possible. Indicate the time spent in prayer or reading. Name the person or people you want to hang out with or spend quality time with. Identify the thing you're saving your hard earned money for. Place all these things on your list and (here I may lose you but stick with me) rid yourself of the other things. Completely rid yourself of the meaningless things you waste time doing. If that seems like a bit of stretch, I understand completely so I've made a concession. Make another list —not the same list with additions but a second list—of things that are not as important but would make a top 10 if you made such a list. These are things you admit you enjoy and would like to dabble in. The top 5 are things you are dedicating time or money to without exception. This second list is things you can slip in when there may be down time, a couple extra bucks, or to take a break from something else in your top 5. Be disciplined with this for at least the month of January (or February depending on when you figure out your lists) and then reflect on how things may have changed in your life. Your lists may change over time and that's fine. They may change often and that's okay, too. But your top 5 will likely be fairly set with only small changes on occasion.

Why do I challenge you this way? We are a distracted people. We let life pass us by while we have our face in a computer screen or in a phone. We waste terrific amounts of time following rabbit trails from Facebook to YouTube to wherever else on the Internet. We waste one of the only things we cannot ever get back once it's spent—regardless of how you've spent it. That is time. Time passes whether we're doing something meaningful and important to us or if we're piddling it away while we vegetate on things we'll likely forget about in 15 minutes. Statistics show us that the average American youth spends 11 hrs a day with electronic media! What!! That includes everything from radio to phones to television and computers. How much of that is profitable? I bet not much at all.

Are you dedicated to cultivating a life with Christ and with those around your or are you squandering this precious commodity and robbing others of something they likely value highly—you? All the “stuff” we get wrapped up in is fruitless when we consider things that actually matter. Where you spend your time and/or money tell the tale, regardless of what we say. In light of eternity, our thoughts as to what is important may change drastically. Engage. See people face to face. Talk to them with your voice rather than your fingers. Be diligent and see where it leads you this new year! And God bless you!

Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Luke 12:34: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”