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Today’s Truth

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

Friend to Friend

To celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, my husband and I traveled to the enchanting Hawaiian islands. While visiting the island of Maui, we decided to explore the rugged terrain and tropical beauty along an infamous road called the Hana Highway. (One commentator noted that calling it a highway was like calling a Volkswagon a limousine.)

The journey promised black sandy beaches nestled among volcanic rock coves, towering African tulip trees with orange-red blossoms, brimming exotic plants tucked among bamboo forests, and breath-taking vistas of raucous waves crashing again rocky cliffs.

Instead of being carted up the mountain in the comfort of a cushy air-conditioned tour bus, we decided to rent a car and travel at our own pace. After all, the tour guide informed us that it would take three to four hours to travel 30 miles to the road’s end. Being city dwellers who move at a fairly rapid pace, we surmised that the laid-back Hawaiian was simply planning to take his time puttering up the mountainside. We were sure we could make the trip in a quarter of the time.

Mr. Tour Guide warned us, “The road is ‘very windy and difficult to maneuver.”

“It’s just a sales ploy,” I said. “We don’t need a guide. Besides, if he can drive that big bus up the road, surely we can maneuver this little Buick.”

I should have had second thoughts as I passed by a T-shirt in the lobby that read, “I survived the Road to Hana.”

The 30-mile stretch of highway was anything but a stretch. It was as if a 2-year-old had held a fat crayon in his chubby hand and scribble-scrabbled circles on a piece of paper. Then a surveyor, mistaking the twists and turns for a map, designed the road accordingly. Yes, there were many spectacular views, but I missed many of them because my motion-sick eyes were closed.

Well, three-and-a-half nerve-wrecking hours, 54 bridges (many of which were one lane) and 617 hairpin turns later, we made it to the crest of the mountain and the end of the Hana Highway. Was it worth the twists and turns, cliff-hanging maneuvers, and near head on collisions? Yes, it was.

The sight that I beheld when we reached the top will forever be etched in my mind. There before us stood a series of seven interconnected pools flowing down from the top of the mountain, each spilling, one into the other via spectacular waterfalls. The rains from heaven pour into the first pool at the peak. When it was filled to capacity, it spilled its contents into a second pool creating a majestic waterfall. When the second pool was full, it overflowed to a third pool, then a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh. Eventually, the seven waterfalls flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

Watching the seven cascades, I realized God was showing me a picture of my priorities and how they should flow:

  • Pool number one, at the very top, represents my relationship with God.
  • Pool number two represents my relationship with my husband.
  • Pool number three represents my role as a mom.
  • Pool number four represents my role as a keeper of the home.
  • Pool number five represents my role as a good steward of money and time.
  • Pool number six represents my time developing and maintaing friendships with others.
  • Pool number seven represents sharing of the love of Christ by extending my hands to meet the needs of the community and the world.

Each of the seven pools represents one key area of a woman’s life. As women, our lives must be filled, first and foremost, with Jesus Christ. Then and only then can Christ’s love spill over to our husbands, then to our children, our homes, our friends, our community, and the world.

As you begin this new year, consider your priorities. Are they what you think they should be? Check your calendar. Check your heart.

Let’s make sure we’re spending enough time at the top of the waterfall so that we’ll be filled to overflow into all the other ares in the best way possible.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, sometimes my priorities get all out of whack. I spend too much time mothering and ignore my husband. I talk to my friends about my problems when I should be talking to You. I volunteer in the community when I should be taking care of my family. Most of all, I omit spending time with You in the morning and allow my to-do list to rule my life. Lord, please show me where my priorities need to change, and then give me the courage to do so.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Let’s go back to today’s truth and read it in the context it was written. These are Jesus’ words to us.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34 NIV)

According to these verses, why do you think we get our priorites out of order?

What are “all these things…”

What do we need to do to keep the number one thing, the number one thing?

More from the Girlfriends

January is a great time to re-evaluate your priorities. Today’s devotion was adapted from an oldie but a goodie, A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life, written by Lysa TerKeurst and me. It might be just what you need for this year’s priority check-up.

And from January 11-15, every book in the store is $10. That is a 33% saving for 5 days only!

5 Responses to “Priority Check-Up”

  1. Lori Lovegren says:

    I realized this was pulled from an “oldie” book, but I was wondering where a women’s job falls on the priority list? I am a dental hygienist so when I leave my office all of my job stays there. However, it does consume 4 days of my week. Thanks for your time and this website!

  2. Thankful for your daily prayers and sharing the blessing of our heaVenly father.May God bless each of you as you stay on your journey of helping people understanding the power of theFATHER the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT.Have a blessed day

  3. Melissa Ball says:

    My dad actually got to go to Hawaii in October 2014 with some other family members and they took that Road to Hana. He ended up buying one of the shirts you mentioned.

  4. Wanda says:

    Definitely the word I needed today! Praying Gods strength over my life to seek him more intimately and not let my TO-DO list overcome my life. Blessings to you and this ministry it has touched my life for many years now! #feelingblessed

  5. Louise says:

    Going back to work this week has been challenging. I am not keeping my priorities straight. I needed this lesson today to remind me of the importance of the decisions that I have made (the first one being: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matt 22:37). He deserves #1 place on my to-do list. From that first pool (Being Filled with Christ), Christ in me will overflow into all the other areas of my life and I will experience PEACE and all the other fruits of the Holy Spirit!! Thank you!!!

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