Do I always give Him my best? That is an easy-answer no. I want to, but I get lazy and selfish. I coast. I give my sacrifices as it is convenient to me, when I see fit. It’s awful.
I have been taught, and I have done the teaching, that the list of priorities by which we should live is God, Family, Ministry, then all the rest. That seems simple enough. I am not sure if this list is even in the right order, but even if it were that simple, it isn’t easy to reflect this order of priority in my time and money.
And the issue doesn’t stay simple for very long. How do you categorize certain activities? Is church a God thing or a Ministry things? Or, maybe it is a Family thing? Once you are married, the question of which family is supposed to be the priority can even become a point of contention. And how do you show God priority? Is it only about prayer and devotions? Or does it include service to those in and out of the church?
Then things are further complicated when contemplating how to express priority. Is it always about time and money? Let’s face it, when the kids are young, diapers aren’t actually more important than God, but if you clocked my days, my protests wouldn’t have held much water. So sometimes we fall victim to the urgent. Things often just need to be handled now, and the true priorities are pushed aside yet again.
We haven’t even begun to talk about habit or complacency. I got pretty used to the activities of changing diapers, picking up toys and nursing taking up a hefty portion of the day. When the tyranny of these demands lessen, I didn’t always notice. I mindlessly filled the time with further nonsense.
And God gets stuck with the leftovers. I don’t like leftovers much. I don’t like getting stuck with the dregs because all the good stuff has been spent on ashes. I can only imagine how the Lord sees my excuses as I come to him wasted and frantic. I don’t mean to say that He won’t take us anyway we come to Him. I can’t think of a better thing to do than to go to the Lord when wasted and frantic. But do I merely SAY God comes first and then only go to Him after I have finished all the obligations? Am I Cain?
I don’t want to be. I try to order my days and weeks to protect myself against business and commitments that would prevent me from serving Him with my firsts. I try to not obligate myself to give favor to activities that may be great fun, but necessarily prevent me from being open to the people the Lord may call upon me to serve. The begins the second-guessing. Maybe by not being involved in the popular activities, I am missing out on opportunities for ministry?
It is dizzying trying to be good, and I know it shouldn’t be. It is simple. Where is my heart? I have to let God take care of the rest.