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Priorities: putting first things first

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Every single day, we are bombarded with so many things to do. Our world is so fast-paced that it is easy to get overwhelmed and then even overcommit. In our society, we are pushed to focus on being successful versus having a life of significance. In my early twenties, I had this checklist in my head of things I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be married, have kids, buy a house, etc. by a certain age. We have our plans and then God has a different plan.

Much of our frustration in life is a result of competition with what we think we should accomplish which can be informed often by the opinions of others. We can also make comparisons to others and if we feel we are behind, there is this internal desire to keep up with others. The danger in doing this is that we never know what others go through to get where they are in life. Similar to an iceberg, we only see what’s visible.

We don’t see behind the scenes (the tears, the long hours, the pain, challenges) that others endure arriving at the destination that we are privy to witness and view. So often, we see the result when we haven’t witnessed the process. Our process can be filled with undue stress when we don’t line up our priorities correctly. Life is going to be filled with unexpected issues but when we have our priorities in place, we can expect that our foundation will sustain us when the storms arise.

John 6:22-40 offers some insight into our priorities. Jesus and the disciples left the crowd behind and went away. There are times in our lives that we must find the time to leave and get away from the crowd. Too much time in the crowd listening to the voices, thoughts, and opinions of others can influence us and even deter us from our mission. The scripture states: “When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’”

The people were more concerned about taking care of their immediate needs instead of recognizing that they had the Messiah in front of them. How often do we miss opportunities focusing on the short-term instead of seeing the bigger picture and the possibilities? The people missed what was important. They were more focused on their physical needs than recognizing that when our spiritual needs are addressed first, everything else falls in place.

Success is more than stuff, titles, and accolades. Those things will come when you put God’s business first. When you take care of God’s business, God will take care of your business.

Proverbs 3 gives us sound advice on having a successful life: “…take to heart my commands. They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.”

We must get our priorities straight. So many folks are stressed because they are striving for the wrong things. As you create a list of things to do, make sure at the top of your list is building and maintaining your relationship with God. That’s your ticket to a well-lived life.

(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the founder/CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, specializing as a partnership broker and leadership expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the vice president of Community Affairs and Strategic Alliances for the State Fair of Texas.)

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