Burning Your Priorities

[420 words]

From Jumper Fables by Ken Davis

Years ago, when I was a teenager, I sat in a youth meeting and listened to a speaker talk about identifying the important aspects of your lives. “Don’t waste your time working towards goals that aren’t really important to you,” he said. “Figure out what really is important to you, what really matters, what you really want to accomplish, then work toward that.”

He gave us five pieces of paper and had us write on each of them one of the top five aspects of our lives. Relationship, abilities, goals, talents, dreams–anything that was a top priority in our lives at that time went onto those sheets.

Choosing those five priorities wasn’t easy. Lots of things popped into my mind, and it was hard to choose the top five. It was like writing a Christmas list that can only have five things on it. You feel bad about all the things you are leaving off! I did plenty of erasing and rewriting.

Then he made it even harder. There was a fireplace in the room, and he pointed to it and said, “Okay, now you have to narrow your list to four. Take one of the pieces of paper and throw it into the fire.”

Wow, was it ever tough to choose which one to burn! But when we’d done that, he pointed to the fire again and said, “Now narrow it to three.”

You know what’s coming don’t you? He made us narrow our priorities down to one–the thing we wanted above everything else. Today, I don’t remember any other details of the man’s speech, and I can’t even remember his name, but after all these years I still remember what I had written on that last slip of paper!

And I’m glad I had to do that, as hard as it was. Because he was right. Those who succeed in life succeed because they know what they want and are willing to bypass some of the things that might be pleasurable in order to accomplish the one thing they value above all else.

Do you know what you would write on your five slips of paper? Do you know which slip of paper you would keep at the end? And do you know how God and His will for your life fit into those plans? I’m glad someone made me answer those questions early in life.

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well (Matt 6:33).

via Parkway Passages
Parkway Church of Christ
Fulton, KY

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