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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Your actions say???

Ghandi said, "Action expresses priorities." That being the case, what are your actions revealing about your priorities? Who do they say is "Number One" in your life? What do your actions reveal about your purpose and intent in life - focus, determination, and commitment? Right now I am planning on another fishing trip with my BFF, so I am pretty intent on getting the tackle box and rods all ready, gearing up for what we hope will prove to be a successful week of relaxation and angling. Mind you, it is more than five weeks away yet, but I am getting focused on it anyway! I also want to make some time to take my grand boys out into the great outdoors to do some fishing and just hanging with each other - so I am being purposeful about how to plan that since I need to do it at a time when someone is available to be with mom. I need renewal - so I take occasional periods of respite from care giving. I need to pour into the lives of these young men whatever wisdom they will take from me - so I need these uninterrupted times when we can just be with each other. All of our actions reveal our intent or priorities, so maybe we'd be better off looking at what we are "doing" and less at what we are "saying" we will do!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (Mark 12:30 ERV)

Since our actions reveal our priorities, my hope is that our actions betray our FIRST priority is this relationship-building that occurs when we spend time with Jesus. As others look at our lives, do they see Jesus as our top priority - do they see him coming through in our actions, no matter what they may be? If not, it might just be we are in line for a few "priority adjustments" to occur for us. If we don't do this adjustment ourselves, God arranges for us to be brought face-to-face with our priorities to ensure we make those needed adjustments! While God isn't opposed to us having fun, if fun is our top priority, dedicating all our free time to just having fun, then we might find the distraction of "fun" gets a little disturbed on occasion - so we will refocus. God also isn't opposed to us having good friends, but if we spend every waking moment with them and neglect family or other responsibilities as a result of the time we spend with them, we might just find God bringing us to a place where we have to "readjust our focus" a little.

I could give us lots of other examples, but I think we get the idea. The actions of our daily lives reveal so much about where our heart is - and Jesus wants our heart to be first with him, then clearly reaching out to take notice and care of the others he places in our lives. In time, when our priorities are rightly-aligned, we begin to see all these things "sort out" so as to make time for the things that re-energize us, such as the respite time, or the time we build into our lives where we just enjoy each other and things we like to do without any cares or concerns except that time we are together. It may be we find more time to volunteer, or give of ourselves - simply because our priorities are getting "better aligned" with what God sees as the "right alignment". If we have doubts about our "alignment", we need only go so far as scripture to know he "lines things up" this way:
1. God
2. Family
3. Church
4. Career
5. Community
You might put other words there to clarify each of these, but we'd all come to pretty much the same list. God is first, family comes next, our brothers and sisters in Christ need us next, and lastly, we have a career. We often invert this, putting career far above anything else, or getting so focused on what our church "needs" of us that we neglect our relationship with God. You might think this impossible since we are doing "church" things, but we can "do" a lot that reveals our mission in doing them isn't to be closer to Jesus, but to fulfill some obligation!

From time to time, set aside a little evaluation period to just look again at what your actions have been saying about your priorities. At present, my first priority after my relationship with Jesus is that of caring for my aging mom. Others in my family and my closest friendships come next, but mom's needs are many right now, so I have to find ways to purposefully balance these other demands. I don't have much time to volunteer at church or do much there, but at present, this is my focus. It isn't that we need to dabble in all the areas at the same time, we just need to be in balance with God at the top as we do! Just sayin!