It’s Monday again, and an Intro to Biblical Counseling lecture is running as I write this blog. The snow is on the ground outside the windows in front of and behind me, the morning is again running away from me as my to-do list grows despite the various tasks that have already been crossed off, and I’m still smiling.
Ninety-seven days until my wedding! June 5th is coming quickly (but not quick enough, on the other hand 🙂 ) and I am so excited to marry the most-wonderful young man, Adam Bowman!! =)
Thirty days until I have officially have my Bachelor’s in Communications with a minor in Bible!!
Three days until our girls’ night at a house, where a group of us girls will play games and make sushi (SOOOOOOOOOOOO stinkin’ excited!!!!) and hang out and laugh and catch up.
Tonight I’m going to a Mary Kay party with my younger sister Mandy and two adopted sisters Sarah and Emily.
Busy, busy, busy. =)
It’s so easy to look ahead. It’s so fun. It’s wonderful to anticipate in excitement and look forward to the variety of super-fun events coming up. The Bible talks about that alot — looking to the future and anticipating. However, unlike the list I just rattled off of events that are coming up within the next few months, the Bible encourages–challenges– us to keep something else as the forefront of our minds: eternity.
This discussion of eternity is something that I’ve been learning about extensively as I summarize Romans through Revelations for my New Testament Survey II class. Eternity is everything. Today is merely a shadow of what is to come, an opportunity to point others to eternity and a chance to focus my perspective on the One Who holds not only today but the future life to come.
Yesterday, I memorized 1 Timothy 4:7,8 for Intro to Biblical Counseling:
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for this present life and also for this life to come.
That’s my thought for the day: keep your eyes on eternity.
So much keeps us distracted, threatens to trip us up, or shipwreck us on our journey. However, often it comes down to a real choice. What are our priorities, what are our real desires, and what should be the one thing that dictates our hearts, actions, and primary focus of our lives?
I hope for all of us the answer is Christ, His Kingdom, and eternity. However, if we step back and allow ourselves to be honest, we are often distracted. There are things to do, people to care for, plans to make, and conflicts to resolve. Often, it comes down to a great collection of well-scripted excuses for a variety of circumstances or events that we are really ashamed of but not so much that we will force ourselves to change.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a faithful prayer warrior and for years – even while at Master’s … gasp! lol – I was unfaithful at being in the Word daily. I’ve mismanaged my time and for a long time could have been found dozing in church or chapel or if not dozing, then studying, texting, or just plain thinking about other things. Even this past summer I could be found faithfully working out every night, but my Bible would sit next to my bed Sunday to Sunday as I prioritized (and oh, so poorly!!) my life to include that which I deemed necessary and set aside that which I deemed good but not best.
Priority IS key. We can’t do everything. Maybe you can, but I most-definitely cannot be the one who works 20+ hrs a week, takes 12 credits in my last semester of school (AND gets good grades), spends faithful time in the Word not out of obligation but desire, is faithful to be on my knees before the Lord regularly, spends quality time with the people I love, reaches out to others and gets involved in ministry, is faithful to my pre-marital counseling and homework involved there, and oh yeah, plans my wedding, which will take place in less than one hundred days. I could probably try to do all these things but I know for sure that I would not be doing all of this wholeheartedly, to the best of my ability, with right heart motivations, and as a good steward of the body, time, and health God has given me.
Therefore, I find myself returned to the drawing board of prioritization, a place I have most-definitely found myself before. I’m sure you can empathize with the feeling of pulling out all the to-do lists and calendars and desires and have-to’s and placing them all in a list according to desires, hopes, and dreams and then altering that list according to the priorities that God would desire me to have.
I have done that. Adam and I have done that. The decisions we have made are hard. The discipline it requires is intense. However as we’re remaining faithful to what God is doing in and through us, we are experiencing so much more joy and energy than we would have if we had left things so misprioritized as they were.
Yeah, it’s super hard. I’m a night person. Getting to bed by 11pm the latest is not easy for me. I’m not a morning person, so being up by 7:30am is often a struggle and school is not something I want to be doing all day when I would rather be working and moving on from boring classes and pointless assignments.
Finances are another area of priority. For me, I never have cash on me, so buying little trinkets and snacks are not a problem, but I don’t like being out and about and not having the financial freedom to stop at Gertrude Hawk and buy my man a package of coconut clusters or at Starbucks and buy him a vente caramel frappucino. Gas money is something that I now think about alot before I take a trip “downtown” to Vestal and run errands, and you’d be surprised at how long I have forced my mascara to work before breaking down and buying a new one (I just threw away mascara that I bought before I went to South Africa last June – it was pretty dead). However, being a good steward of what we have and not wasting the resources that God has blessed us with is helping me/us in the learning process of prioritization. God sees that, and I believe He is blessing and will continue to bless us for that.
So, here we go. I’m back to schoolwork, to focusing on tackling the never-ending to-do list we have been discussing lately. However, as I do, I depend on the Lord to get me through my day and as I focus wholeheartedly on Him, to not only get me through but to my dominate my heart and mind daily. In the same way, let me challenge you to sit down, reprioritize, and ask yourself the super-hard question of whether or not what you have ordered as top-priority in your life is really what He wants to dominate your daily life. Then, on your knees, ask Him to change those differing desires to be not “more like His” but to be completely HIS.
The results (if and only if you really desire that change) will alter your life forever!
P.S. I really do go to bed at night planning breakfast. I was debating between a breakfast of rice or molasses-covered oatmeal when I got home last night to find there had been pizza for dinner. My plans quickly changed, and I had pizza for breakfast. Mmhmm. Maybe I’ll have the oatmeal tomorrow.
♦♦Great, Healthy Breakfast Suggestion: One packet of instant, plain oatmeal, a large spoonful of peanut butter, and a ripe banana. Cook the oatmeal to your liking, mix in the peanut butter, and top with the sliced banana. Mmmhmm. AMAZING!♦♦