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The Challenge of Wrestling with Priorities

The single biggest challenge in my life is wrestling daily with priorities – deciding each day what’s important.  Just watch – after that statement someone will write something trite on my Facebook page like “Just make Jesus your priority and everything else will fall into place.”  They’ll probably site Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”  While that sounds noble, it’s not the same thing. Even after you’ve committed to living a life of faith, you still have to order your day-to-day choices. “Which project is more important?”  “What problem should I deal with next?” “Should I answer email or call clients?” The list is endless, frustrating, and exhausting.

But it matters.

It matters because what we choose to deal with on a daily basis leads to what we accomplish in life.  You daily schedule determines your chances of success.  Far too many good people never accomplish much because they can’t decide what’s most important.

Think about it.  Sit down today in a quiet moment with no phones ringing, and look at your task list, projects, and schedule.  First – delete those that aren’t important, don’t line up with your values, or won’t lead to accomplishing your goals.  As much as possible, get rid of the “busywork.”  Then deal with what’s left.  Rank them according to priority and start working from there.

To live a life that matters, we first have to decide what matters.

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4 Comments

  1. Phil, I needed this today! And I mean today! Thanks so much for the reminder. I struggle with priorities on a daily basis, as you do. And it seems that here lately, there are more and more open doors and opportunities, so I’m trying to prioritize them as well.

  2. Just watch – after that statement someone will write something trite on my Facebook page like “Just make Jesus your priority and everything else will fall into place.”

    When I was at Cal Poly, we used to call this “Five Fast Praise-the-LORDs Will Solve Everything.”  Spoken with the smug assurance of someone who’d never encountered a problem themselves that wasn’t solved FOR them without them having to lift a finger.

    Didn’t work then, and doesn’t now.

  3. THis is a great post. I wrote about this same thing on my own blog a few days ago. I’ve really been struggling with keeping my focus on God and not things. I get into the habit of relying on things to get me by. You’re right, it’s a constant struggle and something we definitely have to do on purpose!

  4. I like the way Dallas Willard rewords Matt. 6:33:  “Make it your priority to be part of what God is doing.”

    Somehow that helps me focus when I do my daily prioritizing each morning…

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