Sometimes it’s hard to know what the important things are in life. On a macro level the question might be easy to answer:
1. Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2. Love Myself so that I can Love Others well (family, friends, neighbours.)
3. Attend Church/Serve in a Ministry
We might even like to prioritize them in that order. Everything looks good on paper especially when compiled in a list. But I’m wondering lately if a list like this really addresses the true matters of my heart. I’m learning that creative possibilities don’t have the freedom to emerge unless I am willing to embrace what is true in the present moment. And without freedom there is a silent kind of slavery that keeps me tied to the same tired and deadening choices.
So If I’m honest, my list of priorities from day-to-day might look more like this:
1. Appear capable, smart, and talented so that I will be worthy of love and admiration.
2. Have a sense of security and predictability around of my finances, health, and relationships so that I won’t need to trust anyone but myself.
3. Work as hard as possible to ensure all of the above.
Frankly, I don’t like the sound of either these lists. The first one of course is easier to admit and is a fairly good Sunday School answer. It also represents more of what I would want to be true. But the sound of it doesn’t seem as personal as it could be. Nor does it really spark in me a sense of love or wonder or beauty. Even though the word love is used three times.
When I meet Jesus in Scripture I see a God who not only makes different lists; But He also seems to speak a different language while using a different pen and paper to boot! The story found in Luke 10:38-42 is a familiar tale about two sisters and their priorities. It is also a beautiful story about welcoming God and what it means to extend true hospitality to Him.
Luke 10:38-42 says,
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
God wants to know that I notice Him and those around me. That I am delighted He’s come. He wants me to truly be present with Him.
I think it’s time for me to live from a new list of priorities. Ones inspired by belonging and not isolation, hope and not despair, love and not fear. Ones that keep me energized. Ones that awaken my passions and my heart.