Focusing on Priorities
This will probably be the most personal post I have written in a while. So, if you’re hoping for something much more topic-minded (like my last two posts on social networking), forget it. This one is about me. Sometimes I use this forum to organize my thoughts, to give myself a chance to come to conclusions, make decisions, make changes, what have you. Today’s post will allow me to do just that.
For the last several days, I can honestly say I have been a bit depressed…and that’s very hard to admit. In fact, for the first time in nearly two years (since my layoff in March of ’09), I have had a difficult time finding motivation, inspiration, and a sense of peace. Instead, I have been lethargic, doubtful, and feeling hopeless. And that saddens me.
Just a little while ago, I opened up my Daily Blessings perpetual calendar, my journal, my Bible, and my friend Stephanie Hester’s book, “Choose a Better Life”. You know what I found? That inspiration I desperately needed.
Now, the Daily Blessing for today didn’t really speak to me THAT much. It was a good reminder but it really didn’t do much for me. I needed more to work with, more inspiration.
I took out Stephanie’s book and opened it up to the chapter entitled, “Passionate About Priorities”. Here she talks about how she was at a point in her life when her business was going through a re-branding & she felt she needed to dedicate every spare moment to that project neglecting things like her morning quiet time, valuable rare time with her daughter home from college, and just time for herself. She turned that thinking around and as a result, she was able to get done what she needed to accomplish for her business while growing in her faith and in her relationship with her daughter without any worry about making it all happen successfully.
I have been telling myself for weeks that I would start a new exercise regimen “tomorrow” or that I would revisit my Bible “next week” etc. all because I have been worried about finding my next paycheck. Stephanie reminded me that it was time to re-arrange my priorities again.
This was good, but it still wasn’t quite enough inspiration so I opened up my journal to the very last entry, which was (sadly) November 23rd of last year where I had stopped at Mathew 6.
“Really? Apparently, I need to catch up!” I thought to myself.
I decided to read Mathew 7 and look at what jumped out at me -
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and he who knocks, the door will be opened. (Mathew 7: 7-8)
This caused me to ponder. I felt as though I had been asking, seeking, and knocking for months to no avail when reality my prayers are being answered slowly but surely. I won’t go into detail because that in and of itself is a bit more personal than I’d like to get here but just know that I did realize that in fact, my prayers are being answered.
I continued on and there also in Mathew 7 was this -
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Here Jesus is using the metaphor of the house built on rock, the solid foundation it has is like the solid foundation we have as a family, as a people, if we build our community on Christ, our foundation.
Wow. I’ve read that passage time and time again but never did it hit me like the ton of bricks that it did today (pun intended). I consider my faith to be strong but could it be even stronger, heck yeah! Could the faith of my family be stronger, yes!
So often we find ourselves saying, “I’ll start reading my Bible next week” or “tomorrow” or “on January 1st” or whenever. Just start now. I decided today I would read Matthew 7. Tomorrow, I will read Matthew 8, the next day Matthew 9, and so on. Everyday that I read it, in my journal I reflect on what I read & how it applies to my life. I find it so therapeutic while at the same time bringing me closer to God, which will only make my faith stronger.
All this to say that while I started out today…and this week, for that matter…not feeling myself but rather, struggling with hope, today I find myself hopeful again and it was because of a chain of events. A Daily Blessing that lead to a poignant book by a friend, which lead to opening my journal, which further lead to opening my Bible.
I have decided to focus on my priorities. No more “tomorrows” and “next weeks” for me. Beginning TODAY -
I will enjoy quiet time with my Father in Heaven
I will exercise my body, mind, and soul
I will take time for myself
I will work on projects I have put off (that will lead to professional growth and that I have been putting off forever because I have been worried)
I will not worry because I will continue to ask, seek, and knock and I know my prayers will be answered
How ’bout you? Have you been shaken by something that has happened in your life that has caused you to lose focus on your priorities? Maybe today is a good day for you too!
And with that, I better publish this and get off my duff. Time to exercise the body.