Living by Our Priorities ||

Whew! You made it to Spring Break! My hope is that you’re reading this while enjoying some well earned R&R. Some of you, sadly, have those professors who determined the Tuesday following Spring Break is the perfect time for a midterm. Those profs remind me of Proverbs 15:21, which says, “Folly delights a man who lacks judgment.” Zing! 

The reality is, however, Spring Break is a great time to catch up on some rest. Our bodies, minds and hearts need time away from high pressure and stress to rejuvenate. To spend time with those who have known us for longer than just the past couple of years. While our college friendships are great, and many will last the rest of our lifetimes, there’s something different about being with family or friends who have known us for even longer. So here’s to Spring Break! 

Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the concept of living out of my priorities. That may seem like an abrupt change of topic, but bear with me. The idea of living out of my priorities means I am making decisions based upon what I’ve predetermined are the most important things to me. I’m not allowing my day-to-day experience be completely shaped by circumstances which are outside of my control. At least, that’s the concept. As they say, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. I’m still a work in progress, and am hoping to see significant growth in this area over the next year. But it’s something I wanted to bring up with you during this unique window of the school year. 

Spring Break is a time where you can take a couple of mornings for yourself and reflect on how your year’s going. Most of us haven’t had much of a chance to do this since Winter Break ended and we arrived back in Berkeley. But I want to encourage you to take a couple of mornings this week and think through how you’re doing in a couple of key areas in your life. 

Proverbs 21:5 says this, “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” Here, Solomon is not talking about financial achievement or failure, rather the idea that we will enjoy success when we take a proactive approach to life. Those who allow circumstances to dictate their actions will consistently feel like a victim to their schedule, or the demands others place on them. While there is truth to the matter that our schedules can include enough requirements that it can feel overwhelming, I believe there are ways in which we can combat this through living out of our priorities. 

“Something proves itself to be a priority if you do it even when you’re busy.” Those words from my pastor sat heavy on my heart for days as I thought about the implications of this truth. I didn’t want this to be true. I wanted him to feel bad for me, that it was completely justified that my time with the Lord was suffering due to my circumstances. We were in the midst of a move, our lives were in boxes, our ministry responsibilities were in full swing, and I felt like I could barely keep up. The idea that I would continue along with something if it was truly a priority, even during a crazy season like that, was both frustrating yet captivating. 

My heart is to be someone unswayed by circumstances. I imagine that’s pretty close to where you desire to be as well. What standing by our priorities in the midst of craziness does is ground us in what’s fundamental to our identity. If I say my relationship with God is my top priority, yet fail to get into His Word when I’m in the craziness of the move, then I compromise my priority. I may say it’s the most important, but...We do the things we want to do. If I had my heart anchored on the fact that I was not moving forward in my day prior to spending time with God, then it wouldn’t matter how busy my day was.

During the next couple of days, take a few minutes to observe your own heart. It might be a great chance to think through how you’re doing living out of your priorities. Here’s some areas to think about (in no particular order except for the first one):

Relationship with God

Finances

Family (Parents, Siblings)

Self-Development

Health

Hobbies/Recreation (Not Netflix)

Friendships

Star Wars Trivia (Maybe that’s just me)

School

Other

Something you could do with these categories is number each one of these life priorities from 1-8,  in the order of what you believe to be the most important. This will help to give you an idea of where a successful day really comes from. For example, if you say your top priority is your relationship with God, and you spend time with Him, and yet you feel behind in a class, you can rest in the knowledge that you actually had a successful day. 

Ok - enough from me. I’ll let you get back to your Spring Break-ing. Enjoy catching up with family, friends, your favorite show...or indulging that professor in whom “folly delights” and “lacks judgment.”