In order to teach people to prioritize their time, I do a little demonstration with them. I have them hold a paper plate and then ask them what all they are involved in or have going on in their lives. Each time they name something, I place an object on the plate they are holding. Sooner or later one of two things happen. Either the plate slips out of their grasp or it buckles and everything ends up on the floor.
It’s a great demonstration of what happens when we’re involved in more things than we have time for. We either need a bigger plate, fewer things on our plate or to find a way to prioritize the things on our plate better. Each one of us lead busy lives. We have more demands on us than ever before. The question is, “What falls off your plate first when life gets crazy?”
For too many of us the answer is God. We get so caught up in making a living that we forget why we are living and what we were created for. Our goal is not retirement. I’m not saying don’t save up for retirement. I’m saying it shouldn’t be such a priority that you fail to give God your time. I know what it’s like to work so hard that on your only day off you want to sleep in instead of going to church. It’s also easier to hit the snooze button than to wake up and pray.
The problem is that we’ve not made God a priority. I heard someone recently say, “We’ve made God a luxury and not a necessity.” When that happens and things need to be cut in our lives, He’s one of the first things to go. God must become a priority in each of our lives or the balancing act with the plate is all for nothing. Job 1:21 reminds us that we were naked when we came into this world and we’ll be naked when we leave. If we can’t take it with us, why have we made it such a priority in our lives?
What we do take with us is our soul. Romans 14:12 says that each one of us will give a personal account to God for what we’ve done and how we’ve lived. What we do on earth for God will echo in eternity. He should be our number one priority in life followed by doing the things that matter for eternity. We still have to provide for our families and to do the things necessary to live. It’s finding the right priority that is the key to living the way God intended us to live. There is a way to balance the things in your life without having them fall on the floor.
It starts with having God at the center of your life. When you make Him your number one priority in your life, you begin to see what matters and what doesn’t. You learn what matters for eternity and what doesn’t. You begin to see where things belong in your life. You find the balance He wants you to have. You may have to let go of some things you have as a high priority right now. You may find you’ve been focusing on the wrong things and need to put different things on your plate.
To help you determine how you prioritize things in your life, I ask again, “What falls off your plate first when life gets crazy? What falls off last?” The answer to these questions is where you currently have your priorities. What order do you want or need your priorities to be in? What changes can you make today to begin to put them in the right order? Putting God in the center will help you to find the balance you’re looking for.