Those of us involved in the Christian culture would likely rank God as a high priority; yet, is that really the case or do we fool ourselves? Several weeks ago I observed a scene which started my thinking about it.
Our city was quite cold that day, and the falling snow was blowing sideways in the jarring north winds. Although I preferred staying inside, I was forced to run a needed errand in the car. As I passed a nearby office building, I noticed four or five workers out on the sidewalk several hundred feet from the building, huddled together under umbrellas, smoking. I often notice such groups when the weather isn’t so harsh, but in my southern mind, only someone a bit crazy would stand around outside in these conditions, especially of her own choice. What commitment they showed to their cause—smoking cigarettes!
God immediately interrupted my thoughts, using this picture of true priorities to aim the truth at me. I had to ask myself if I my commitment to pursue God was even close to that of these smokers, and my answer was definitely no.
How often is the amount of time I spend with God secondary to my sleep, my schedule, or my interruptions? How common is it that I move quickly ahead with my daily plans without spending quality and quantity time seeking his guidance and wisdom? How much of my life is lived autonomously instead of in dependence? When do I really sacrifice to follow Christ? Would I stand outside in that weather if that was the only place I could meet God?
If these questions are as uncomfortable for you as they were for me, I invite you to spend time considering them before God, asking him to show you what your real priorities are. What stands in the way of pursuing him as an addict does his fix? That is your real priority.
The great news is that God is gracious and forgiving. Once we take the time to identify where we truly are in our relationship with him, he wants us to bask in his forgiveness but at the same time move forward to truly prioritize him.
May we all be able to pray with the psalmist: “As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God!” (Ps. 42:1)