All posts tagged priorities

The Most Important Question

If I were to give you the opportunity to ask one question and only one question of God, what would it be?  I’m not talking about making a prayer request but an honest inquiry about something you do not know…

The most important question that I can think of is, “How should I be spending my time?” Or another way of phrasing it would be, “Am I doing that which is most important and has eternal significance?”  I try to begin and end every day by thinking on this subject. There are so many things that crop up in each of our lives to distract us from what is truly important. Of course we have obligations and work to perform, but even choices we make in regard to these subjects could be better directed by asking ourselves if this is truly important or if it is just routine and habit?

What were God’s priorities for His Son while He walked the face of the earth? He had a particular mission that was different than ours (the redemption of humanity and payment for our sin so that we could be right with His Father), but inherent in His unique mission was His interest in other people. He healed the sick, preached the Good News and most importantly loved others. How are you doing in those areas? Is your life all about you or is it focused on the needs of others?

There’s a woman who runs the cash register at a store where I meet with someone on a regular basis and her name is Joy. She didn’t know it, but her name reminded me of a song I learned as a young boy. It went like this: “Jesus and Others and You… what a wonderful way to spell JOY!”

How are you doing at putting Jesus and Others ahead of Yourself? That is the true path to doing what really matters. That is how you can do what is eternally significant. That is the most important question.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Luke 10:27

I Remember

Christmas holds some of my greatest memories.  I remember everyone getting together for the holidays and having a ball with the entire family at my Grandparent’s home and Aunt Ginny’s farm.  I remember falling asleep in the car and having my Dad carry me to my bed.  I remember all those who have passed away and who I look forward to seeing again. I remember the cold weather in Michigan, snow, sledding, deer hunting, turkey dinners, favorite recipes and a lot of love.  I really don’t remember the hard times or any pain.  I guess I have a lot for which to be thankful… and I am.

What I really want to remember is that this is the day we celebrate the greatest miracle of human history.  I know some people think it’s just a nice story or a myth, but I believe in the real incarnation of the Creator into human form; the manger, the shepherds, the angels and the birth of the Savior of mankind. Yep, I believe it all and have built my life on the veracity of this story and God’s claim on my life.

I have a friend, who says he used to believe all this but now doesn’t.  He is sick of people like me who are so locked in to worrying about what “God says” in the Bible and how we want everyone else to live. Well, I think what he is really sick of is being reminded of what God wants from him. I remember what God says about his love for us.  But for my dear friend, it is just too “Fantastical.” I wish he would remember when he believed.

At Christmas, I remember my childhood and how simple life was then.  I remember my country and how great it was to be an American.  I remember my friends, my school days and my church.  I remember it all.  I remember what God has done for me and I am grateful.  Thank you, dear Lord.  I remember you!

Padawan

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:9 (KJV)

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (KJV)
MULTIPLICATION

Multiplication is just a very fast and efficient form of addition. If you want to leave your mark in life, this is one math fact which you will want to embrace, because multiplication is the best way to ensure your legacy. It is though the lives of others you invest in as a mentor, that you can have your greatest impact.

We sometimes call a person being mentored – a disciple. A disciple is a person who follows a leader and they do something more; a disciple reproduces themself in the lives of others who come after them. So we have two important aspects of discipleship; copy and multiply. These two ideas can change your life and even change the world! If you don’t multiply your beliefs, practices and experience in the lives of others, they will soon be lost.

Do you remember the Star Wars movies? They tell about a religious sect called the Jedi who had a very strict system of training their understudies called “Padawans.” Their whole plan went wrong when they failed to properly mentor and govern one from among their own ranks and he became their nemesis. Darth Vader was a disciple … but of the wrong leader. He became the Dark Lord of the universe as a direct result of ineffective discipleship by the Jedi. I am not saying that if you do not properly disciple those under you, they will bring the universe to ruin – but it is something to think about. What could you be doing right now to properly guide those who look to you for leadership?

The philosophy of reproducing ourself through others relates to raising our children as well as training our employees and the impact we have on any others who may be looking to us for leadership. It is a universal truth that we will reap what we have sown.

I have been blessed to have a series of great men who have invested in my life to guide me when I needed it. It has not always been easy to receive their input but because the relationships were built on love and trust, there was a solid foundation making it easier. We all need to be looking around us for someone we can invest in and for someone to invest in us – it flows both ways. I never met a successful leader who did not have a series of mentors helping them and I never met a wise man who did not seek to mentor others. The choice is yours to take this admonition seriously; copy and multiply. That is the best way any of us can leave a lasting legacy and assure our long-term success.

Essential Insight – “Multiplication is the only math that really adds up.”