I realised have been silent in writing for a few months, that silence represents ones ability to reflect and process, to resist being pulled from all directions, to manage the experiences we find ourselves in.
Sometimes it can take one thing to tip the balance, or time itself can weary ones resilience to life. Sometimes it can creep up, and sometimes it slams suddenly in your face. What I have learned, and continue to learn, is that God is my number 1, and the people in my life who I cherish, are next in line of priorities. Even using that very logical and Biblical definition, I have still found myself pulled in many directions. I am still figuring out how to priorities, and cut back on things that seem all equally important.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”2 Corinthians 9:8
As a child of God, wife, mother and teacher, I desire to make a difference. I desire to see the people in my sphere to discover Jesus and His love and unlimited GRACE. I desire these things because I believe these give meaning to my existence. But at the same time, it is all wrapped up in the definition of who I am in Christ. In all my efforts to “do”, I have to remember who “He” is. I have to remind myself that my existence and purpose is all wrapped up in the fact that God created me, died for me, and has sent me His Spirit as a multi-faceted gift. There is nothing that I can do, but accept Him, love Him, and share Him. But in all of that seeming passive thought, we still desire to be doing something. It sometimes gets all muddled in my brain, but it is at those times, that I return to ‘seek first his kingdom…’
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
So how does one de-clutter when the important things are all important, all meaningful? How do we downsize when everything we have to do on its own is equally good? Side note – the “have-to-do’s” are defined in our own mind, which might or might not be truly important or accurate! I am in the process of re-evaluating where I am at the moment. It is not a mid-life crisis, or anything drastic, however it is a time of introspective reflection on my experience at the moment. So far, where I have arrived at in my thinking, is the following – and I have realised it is as simple as this, although it often seems way more complicated…
- My relationship with God is most important. I need to guard the time I spend in learning, reading, praying, listening, worshipping (in no particular order). I need to keep (hold on to / defend) time of reflection and listening to the Spirit.
- The people closest to me are the most important. My husband, children, parents and siblings, then my ‘village’.
- My ministry is at third place…my current profession of teaching, and leading young people to Jesus through Pathfinders, gives me huge meaning in life. My ministry in my church is also important to me.
“…in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”Proverbs 3:6
So as I look at that list, I contemplate on how I can prioritise God and family. Other things sometimes need to take a back seat when we feel like we are only just holding on – even if that means aspects of our ministry. I suppose it all depends on where one finds oneself in the experience. If my health was suffering, I would prioritise sleep and good nutrition. If my mental health was taking a dive downwards, then for a season I would prioritise things that nourish my wellbeing. A lot of it is being aware of your physical, mental, spiritual and social self, and feeding the area that is suffering or lacking.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:13
So for now, I am going to wake up tomorrow morning, and take my Bible (and cuppa) down the olive grove for some alone time with God, then make a lovely brunch for my family. That sounds like it is going to tick all the boxes of priorities for now.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.“Philippians 4:7