My priorties are pretty much a mess right now. It seems the more I try to prioritize, the more interruptions I face. The more needs I try to meet in my life, the more conflicts I find. Once again the Spirit reminds me that my life is not about me. It’s about others. And others are like me, they have emotions, energies, reasoning, desires, and needs of their own. Therein lies my quandry.
If I cannot get my own life in order, how can I give time to others?
From the whining grandchild to the overworked son-in-law. From my Type-A daughter, to my laid-back, steadfast husband. From a distant friend, to one I have lunch with. From my Iraqi friend who I teach English to, to my chiropractor’s orders to rest. All these come to mind when I consider a priority list.
One half of most every moment in my life I am thinking about myself….my needs…my comfort. Yet the more comfortable I get, the less I tend to do for others…the less I consider their feelings, their thoughts, their doubts, their condition, their abilities and even their inabilities. I must consider their flaws as well as their perfections. I must consider their wisdom as well as their foolishness.
God has placed me here, in this moment, to be the light and salt in the lives of others. My mind cannot be so made up, my priorities so set in cement–that I have no wiggle room to meet another’s needs, no tolerance for their weakness, no forbearance for their mistakes.
What about me? What about my needs, my emotions, my hopes? I ask God those questions more than you can possibly believe. I am all about me and my needs and comforts being met. Seriously. I’ve made a vocation of indulging my own pleasure and comfort. But I cannot lock myself in a room somewhere in order to please myself. If I did, I’d have to become a self-reliant farmer, gardener, technician, plumber, baker, physician, etcetera. With relationships, rest is usually compromised, time is not always ours to schedule, whims are not often granted (sometimes not even our needs are met).
“have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;” Philippians 5:5-6
No one had more right to His own pleasures, comfort and desires than Jesus. He, after all, was constantly healing, tending, teaching, listening, and caring for others. He went so far as to lay down His life for others. He paid the price for sin so we could live forever in the Kingdom of God. If Jesus was willing to set Himself aside to meet the needs of others, shouldn’t I?
God allows certain circumstances to occur in my life as I grow in Christ. He has a plan for me and as I walk through life towards the goal He has laid out before me. That “goal” is “to have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” What is the mindset of Jesus?
Jesus set His mind toward Jerusalem…to save sinners…to obey God all along the way until He willingly lay down upon the cross, and willingly allowed others to nail Him to the wood. He willingly allowed man to raise His beaten, battered, bloody and naked body up on a pole to be mocked, spat upon and humiliated. All to pay the price for sin…my sin, your sin, the sin of others.
PRAYER: Please bless those who struggle with priorities. Give peace to the weary, clarity to the busy, and guidance to those consumed with earthly things. Let them see You in every interruption, obstacle and trial. Let them see Your hand and know the Spririt’s call upon their lives as they walk toward the goal you’ve set before them.