Yesterday we started looking at choosing to move forward in life. A great topic after being “on hold” for a year due to Covid-19. So, how do you get free of the sandbar and back to sailing in open water? Today … the first of a number of suggestions that will help you to do just that.
Start be accepting that everything is not equally important. Let me repeat that: everything in your life is not equally important. Almost every adult struggles with this today. We become so distracted by molehills that we can’t charge up the mountain.
In February 2020, Dan Cain of Twinsburg, Ohio, came home to find postal workers hauling seventy-nine large bins of letters to his house. In one day he received 55,000 letters, all of them the same. They were duplicate letters from a student loan company. Somehow the company made an error in its mailing system, inundating Cain with enough mail to last a lifetime.
Now think of this. What if somewhere among those fifty-five thousand letters was a vital communication — a small package mixed among the bins? What if it was a letter from God? What if a small copy of the Bible, the message of hope and heaven, was jumbled among the letters in those seventy-nine bins of mail?
Your cluttered world bombards you with thousands of bits of data every day. No wonder you’re distracted! It’s easy for the most important things to be lost. That’s why you must acknowledge that not everything is a priority. Not every activity is vital. Not every situation is eternal.
In His parable of the sower, Jesus said, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).
Can you relate to that? I can. The Lord has sown the seed of His Word into our hearts, but it’s not as productive or fruitful as He wants. Somehow His work in and through us is chocked by “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.”
Often times out inability to get unstuck and move forward is due to a lack of priorities — we fail to even consider that some things are more important than others. Without understanding the nature of priorities, you can’t sort through the cares of this world, but you can become paralyzed by burdens, business, and busyness. In trying to do everything you end up doing nothing. This “paralysis by analysis” can devastate your morale and your emotional health.
In a book called Essentialism, the author writes:
The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things. People and companies routinely try to do just that. One leader told me of his experience in a company that talked of “Pri-1, Pri-2, Pri-3, Pri-4, and Pri-5.” This gave the impression of many things being the priority but actually nothing was.
Understanding that not al things are equally important is an essential part of getting unstuck in daily life and moving forward. Priorities keep you focused and help you to accomplish what really matters, because the best way to move forward in your life journey is to remove the clutter and then focus on what is of prime importance. We need to learn to major on the majors.
Next time … Part Three: Clarify What’s Best