You’ve probably heard the little phrase: “First things first.” That phrase makes me think of this one: “Easier said than done!” Keeping our priorities straight takes a lot of focus and discipline. Life happens fast and the tyranny of the urgent can easily turn good intentions for doing “first things first” into “first things last.”
At the beginning of my day, my schedule and tasks fit neatly into color coded boxes in my Google calendar. When I reflect back at the end of the day, not everything fit as neatly in those boxes as I had planned. What happened? I lost focus and discipline to keep first things first. The solution is to build accountability and margins into my day to help me stay focused and on track. The problems and worries that arise during the day however can easily distract me from my predetermined priorities. Jesus had to address this very issue with His disciples:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34)
Keeping first things first actually requires even more than just focus and discipline. You must also seek God’s wisdom and discernment. Some divine appointments can be cleverly disguised as an interruption to your day. By simply building margins into your schedule, you will have time to prayerfully recalibrate your priorities. It’s so much more productive to live by God’s design for your day than to just wander through it. Seek Him and His purpose for your activities throughout the day and everything else will fall in place. By faith and with committed focus and discipline, serve God well today by seeking him first. Keeping Him first is the only way you can truly have a “first things first” day.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
~ Stephen R. Covey