Thursday, February 19, 2009

When Is A Priority Not A Priority?

Have you ever felt you weren't a priority in the life of a friend? Have they ever told you they feel that way about you?

Figuring out where your real priorities lie is something you can only do indirectly. Like many things we might want to know about ourselves or others, we need to sort of sneak up on it. You can't very well just ask someone what is important to them. They might very well tell you what they believe, but that doesn't make them right. You can ask yourself these same types of questions and be assured you'll find a way to fool yourself often enough.

When it comes to understanding what is really driving us, motivating us, important to us, we can only look at our behaviors and actions to learn the truth. When we look at the choices we make, how we spend our energy, time, and resources, we are able to take the true measure of what we value.


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
-- Matthew 6:21


When it comes to understanding if your choices are upholding your core values, it is worth it to first understand the impact of those choices. Are you impacting those around you in the way you want? Do you find yourself apologizing a lot? Do you find yourself on questionable moral ground?

When it comes down to it, we care about things we put ourselves into. Anything that isn't important enough to warrant changes in our behavior, isn't important. Those things that are not a priority enough to alter the choices we make with our time or attention, are simply not priorities.

Are you worried about making your faith a priority? Look for how much of your time is concerned with matters of faith? How many of your conversations come back to your faith? When you are making decisions, how often are the reasons for your choices based on faith?

The important things in your life, are the things that are so prevalent you don't have to think about them. When there is enough time and attention that they are constantly in your thoughts. The first way you think to spend free time is among the things that are most important to you. The first person you want to call with good news is among the people most important to you. The same with the person you would call in an emergency. When you find a twenty in a jacket pocket you'd forgotten about, the first thing you think to do with the money is among the things most important to you.

For me this is a struggle because I want my priority on my Savior and my Faith. Which is where "Pray Without Ceasing" becomes a reality. If I spend all my thoughts on someone (or something) else, I can't very well say my faith is the most important thing to me. By disciplining myself to pray, I make a lame attempt to ensure my heart follows my treasure.

Or at least a close enough approximation that I can say I did my best.

When I want someone to feel they are priority, I make them the priority. I call them first. I pass up other people and activities to spend time with them. I work my schedule around being able to talk and be with them. If I can do this for others, how much more should I do for my Lord?

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