At the start of a new year I often find it useful to reevaluate my life and think of areas that could use more attention. I like to think through all the facets of my life (chores/relationships/responsibilities/desires) and then to apply a filter of priorities. There are many things that are important, and many many things that try and woo my time and attention--but yet, not all of these things are of primary importance. As much as I would like to think I can be everything and do everything, I can’t. Being a limited human necessitates that I forgo what could be good for what is better-- I must prioritize.
The scary thing is that even if I’m not consciously prioritizing my days, priorities will still emerge since some things will get done and other things will not. Unfortunate though it may be, these de-facto priorities usually do not end up being the best priorities. De facto priorities are often selfish and will usually put the tyranny of the urgent over the importance of the eternal. Because I want my life to matter and my days to not simply disappear, prioritizing is a must for me!
Our sweet pastor’s wife outlined a general framework of priorities for us young moms to think through when ordering our days-- this framework has morphed into my priorities filter. Here they are in descending order of importance:
There are good, biblical reasons why each of these categories are on the list, and the position they hold. But, I am not writing a treatise on priorities, and this post is getting long. By thinking through this filter regularly, I hope that putting first things first will become more of a second nature to me. Perhaps even, with practice, the de facto priorities will start to fall in line with what is best and most pleasing to God.