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What Am I Putting First?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I have a confession.....I can be a bit obsessive at times, I think it's part of my perfectionism. When I decide to do something, it can easily consume my focus. I've done this in a lot of different areas in the past - scrapbooking, collecting cookbooks, looking for a new house (we didn't end up moving), couponing and so on. Lately I've been doing that with my focus on fitness. Don't get me wrong, I need to focus on this and I will continue to do so but it's become a mini idol for me (or maybe not so mini). My eyes have shifted from the One who created me to...well...quite frankly....me. I haven't missed a day Sparking but I would go days without doing my devotions or spending any quality time with God. Sure, I would still listen to Christian radio and shoot up popcorn prayers and such, but that's not the relationship He desires to have with me. The other day, when I actually sat down and spent time with Him, the devotional for the day hit me square in the face. It was from Matthew 8:21, where a man said he wanted to follow Jesus, but first he wanted to go and bury his father.

I am including the devotional here as a reminder to me because it's easy to forget "a-ha" moments sometimes. So here it is:

-----Have you ever said:" "Once I get _____ done, then my life will calm dawn"? You are not alone. It's an easy habit to develop, but a hard one to break!

The man Jesus called to follow him here in Mattheew 8 said basically the same thing to Jesus: "Uh, master, hold that thought. Love what you're doing here, want to be a part of it, really I do. Just need to step over here and handle this task first. You understand right?"

Understand though, that if the man's father had already died, he would have been off burying him already. But it seams he wanted to wait until after his father's death, which might have been years away!

The three telling words in this passage are: "First let me..." When I am at my busiest, I am also the most self-absorbed. it's then that the most important things get pushed aside or don't make the list at all.

"Hi, my name is Luann, and I'm addicted to activity." Though I'm embarrassed to admit this, I've got to be real with you. God makes a simple request in my l ife and yours: "Follow me." But all too often these three words, "First let me..." slip past my lips.

Maybe Jesus is saying to us:
"Follow me, and let the kids wait a minute."
"Follow me, and let the phone ring."
"Follow me and reschedule the appointment."
"Follow me, and put everything else on your to-do list after me."

It's easy to get carried away with our busyness and neglect God. But God is asking that we put him first. It's a habit that's worth developing. Instead of an excuse, perhaps we should be saying, "First let me spend time with you, Jesus." -----
written by Luann Prater in the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women (Day 230)

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Wow! When I read this, I got the message loud and clear. It doesn't mean that my journey to fitness isn't important or that it shouldn't be a priority. But I had given it a throne. I lived and breathed and slept it. It became my life. It's been pretty much all I talked about and all I've thought about for the past few months. But if my relationship with Christ is the most important thing to me, which it is, then that really needs to come first. And my getting fit and healthy is as much about being a good steward of the body that God gave me and serving Him with my body as it is looking and feeling better.

So I'll still be here everyday and I am still working diligently at making the mental and physical changes I need to make to get fit and healthy.

I'll still be Sparking daily
Tracking daily
Doing physical activity and strength training regularly

But there are spiritual changes that need to happen too....and I am open to those too. So now it's time that I take my weight loss off the throne and put it back on the altar where it belongs. And it's time to recommit to spending quality quiet time wtih God daily - and spending that time with Him first - before all the other things that make up my day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • AURA18
    Very True! re-evaluating moves close to your inner spirit emoticon
    2308 days ago
  • KETO_KIMBERLY
    I'm guilty of this, too! I need this reminder, thanks for sharing :)
    2312 days ago
  • WISHICOULDFLY
    Beautiful insights Michelle! emoticon You put into words what I often am thinking. emoticon
    2312 days ago
  • ROBBIEMARIE
    Beautifully shared. Thank you.
    2312 days ago
  • LINDA!
    So true. Most of us forget that we should be focusing on Him first. Great blog.
    2313 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14456645
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2313 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14915039
    Love this blog ! I too get very obsessive , I really can identify - my entire upstairs is a In law apartment half for stained glass and the other half scrapbooking .
    Even my new adventure rowing has become an obsession but you nailed it on the head there were many times on spark that I had to put me first not intentional but yes , other things in life are just or more important - such as devotional reading .
    That First let me - hits home - like saying - when everything in my life is perfect I will be Happy . If only its was that easy - In his eyes everything is already perfect for His will not THY .
    Took me along time to figure that out and I feel all of us here wrestle with that familiar feeling of being over whelmed - like for yourself - you have , your devotion, a position that requires many hours of attention , your husband as well as your new lifestyle to create that's unique to you .
    Personally - I have no idea how you do it :)
    Do what's best for you - we 'll be here always to support you and listen , laugh , daily devotions - what ever - and its you that inspires me ! emoticon
    2313 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/26/2014 1:40:18 PM
  • no profile photo CD14269091
    Well said, my friend! This is so true! I am afraid I've been guilty as charged the past few years with taking care of my mother! I, too, am working on putting God back in charge where He should be!

    Thanks for the great blog (and kick in the teeth!!)

    HUGS!
    2313 days ago
  • BETRHO48
    emoticon
    Truer words were never written.

    emoticon "He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
    It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars, the sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
    How loving and patient He can be.
    He's still working on me." emoticon (from a Christian song my kids learned when they were little).

    How true this is for all of us Christians. Sometimes we get caught up in the busyness of our days and neglect the time we ought to be spending with our Heavenly Father. Just as we are working on our physical and emotional/mental bodies, we should be working on our spirit.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    ~Beth
    2313 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/25/2014 5:17:51 PM
  • BLUEJAY1969
    Wow! I so identify with what you said! I was obsessing over my fitness and have just started to loosen my grasp and get back to what is important! I never forgot to pray and thank Jesus for my blessings but I haven't been counting on Him to keep me centered and keep me from failing and boy has it been worrisome for me! Thank you for giving me this giant push into putting this on the One's shoulders who can carry it so much better than I ever could! I also have been rushing my time with Him instead of savoring it as I should. I haven't been ignoring but rather hurrying it along and I think I needed this kick in the pants to get myself straightened out!
    Again, Thanks!
    Jeanne
    2313 days ago
  • SUBMOM2
    "Popcorn prayers" certainly hit home. Thanks for giving me something to think about!
    2313 days ago
  • KILIKI
    Wow! That was an awesome post! You are so right with everything you said. I totally agree with you. It's so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and not look at the one and only thing that matters (God). When you put God first, everything else will fall in place! Thank you for the reminder and sharing! emoticon
    2313 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    Figuring out how to integrate our current life with the Eternal is a difficult, ongoing chore. I fail to make God the priority in my life over and over again despite my best intentions and best efforts. The Good News is that I can begin, and begin again. We all can.

    emoticon
    2313 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    Great realization. While you are spending time with God let him carry part of the load for you, and help you on this journey. He can't help if we don't ask for His help! Have a blessed day!
    2313 days ago
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