First Things First

Disclaimer:  I am going to be a bit transparent about some of my thought processes and feelings today.  Please don’t judge me, judge your Algebra 1 Part B teacher.

Preface: I didn’t come up with that title…if you couldn’t figure that out.  Furthermore, the overall moral of this story will not be original either.  Some time ago, my pastor preached a sermon titled “First Things First.”  I am the type that takes all of the word in while I’m listening to sermon, then I seek how it can be applied to my life.  Months later, God brought this back to my remembrance through a current life situation.  

Let’s begin… for real this time. 😉

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Being transparent, I am passionate about almost everything, and everything becomes important.  But if everything is important, doesn’t that mean nothing is important?  (Try highlighting every word on this page…I bet nothing stands out.  Point proven. 😉)  All I know is I have a bullet point list of things that I should be doing or should have accomplished by this point, a list of people who should receive my quality time and undivided attention including both God and myself, and a running tab of “to do’s.”  At any given moment I am thinking about many to all of these things trying to figure out my “how.”  I do a very poor job of taking a moment to create an accurate order of importance which often means I am first seeking to accomplish something that is ultimately secondary.

It is NO secret that at 29 years, 2 months, and 9 days, I am currently void of a husband, fiancé, boyfriend, boojank, situationship, or “buddy.”  It is also no secret that it is one of my greatest heart’s desires to be a wife before I’m too old to be a mother too…I mean.  As I have spent the last few years saying, “Congratulations” to friends, acquaintances, and former classmates, I have only grown more frustrated and anxious as I have ended some relationships and given up on the idea of others.  (I promise this is NOT about to be a sob story; I’m not in the mood for it today.)  So over the last few months, I have become very direct in my prayers to God concerning this matter; and note, this matter makes the prayer list almost daily.  [Brace yourself, I don’t speak to him in King James Version or as if He’s an unapproachable stranger; He responds in the same manner.]  My portion of the conversation was as follows…

Me: “Um, God…did you forget about me?  Everybody is getting married…even the ugly people and the THOTS.  I mean!!!  Do you want me to just be alone for the rest of my life?  I’m trying to walk upright before you… Okay now!”  😒

Seemingly He ignored me, even when I worded my thoughts a little better.  Finally His answer came to me in a moment and space that was specifically created to worship Him.  I was gathered with a few friends, and while singing songs that said “Jesus, you’re all I need,” and “You alone are my heart’s desire,” He finally spoke.  Interestingly enough, when I created a specific space just for Him where I wasn’t asking for anything except to simply hear from Him and feel His presence, He picked up the conversation where I left off.  (Read my blog “My Space” to understand the importance of a space in your life created just for Him.)  

Him:  “Make me your heart’s desire.  Want me just for me…not for what I can give you.”

He reminded me that He hasn’t been my heart’s desire.  In the hustle and bustle of my life with my bullet point list of “to do’s” and accomplishments, I allowed Him to drop a few notches in the order of importance.  Though I honored God, served God, reverenced God, followed God, and listened to God, He wasn’t always in His rightful place…first.  

And then he reminded me of this scripture…

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33 [New Living Translation]

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THE MORAL OF THE STORY

We live in the age of “If you want it, make it happen.”  I’m not knocking it by any stretch of the imagination as I too am creating my vision boards, I have my motivational quotes on my wall, and I make the push to get things done…somethings just have to be done.  But in our earnest efforts to check off the list we sometimes get things out of order.  Speaking for me… THERE IS SO MUCH PRESSURE!  30 is literally around the corner for me, and when I review the approximate timelines for my life (that I and society have created), I am late (I’ll blog about that later).  So here I am, PRESSED on every side like a shirt fresh from the cleaners, like a panini from Panera Bread, like natural hair that has just be straightened with the flat iron to check some things off the list.  Step one, I’m making sure God has NO questions about what it is I want, and step two, I’m “getting my life” so that I’m ready for this blessing, honey!  (Peep my blog “Are You Sure You’re Ready?”)  But I can’t say that in all of my petitions and preparations I asked God if He felt like He had a rightful place on my vision board.  Beyond the things that I want to do for Him and the souls that I want to reach for Him, I didn’t ask Him what else He wanted me to know about Him…not the provider, the healer, the keeper, the doer…just Him.  While I’m begging Him for a relationship, I didn’t assess whether or not He and I were good.  How was our relationship?

Imagine you have a friend that loves to hang with you, but it seems they are always asking for something when they are around.  When they come to your house or call you up, they are constantly asking you to do something because they know you can do it or  because you said one day you would do it.  Though their intentions may be pure, it seems like they rarely get with you just to see what is on your heart.  That would be worrisome, and we would consider that to be a bit unbalanced.  So that’s what I’ve been doing to God, and I was wrong. 

The scripture above instructs us to seek His kingdom above all else or FIRST and then live righteously — according to His standard, in a way that doesn’t bring Him shame, following His lead, being the person He wants you to be.  After you get on track with those two things, He’ll give you what you need.  GIVE…like a gift…  Wayment, so you’re telling me if I seek Him and follow His standard, He’ll just give me what I need?  I don’t have to name it, claim it, blab it, and grab it?  Yup!

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I’ve been a bit long-winded today.  Forgive me, I am a Rouson.  I am sure you, like me, have some things that you sincerely desire to have, do, or be.  If you are like me, you are passionate about it, and it consumes many of your thoughts.  Today and for the rest of our days, let’s make the effort to not want the harvest so much that we neglect the Lord of the harvest.  In our strides and efforts, we must not neglect our greatest mandate to seek God and His way.  And as we create our lists we must remember that God gets first dibs on the number one spot.  What you need will come, but first things first.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6 [New Living Translation]

I hope this helps.

-Chris

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