The first thing that I would advise someone to do when making a schedule is to consider what they really want out of life. For some it’s money or power or fame, but I hope for better things for you. I believe that Christians have to have a completely different set of priorities than unbelievers and making a list of what matters to you the most should reflect that.
Making a list of priorities shouldn’t be that difficult, but I’ll show you what my priorities are and how I would write them out in order to give you an example of what I’m talking about:
1. God: The number one priority in my life is the true and the living God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was a time when some unnamed disciples left Jesus and He asked the twelve if they also wanted to go, but in John 6:68-69 Peter said “”Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Since I agree with Peter’s sentiment, I must also agree that there is nowhere else to turn, even if everything else in life fails me I will always have eternal life in Him, so He is my number one priority. This is an eternal priority, which should always take precedent over temporal priorities and should be the overwhelming presence among all other things in life.
2. My wife: Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…” and that is a pretty heavy statement that I hold near to me at all times. If God tells me that I should be loving my wife like this, then this should be really high in my priority list.
3. My child: I have a baby daughter due in June and she has already over taken so much of my life that it is truly incredible. I don’t know if this is something that can be explained or has to be experienced, but when you realize that something as precious as life is in your hands it can change you. I’m in a strange position in that I will be a stay at home dad and part time blogger, but I can promise you that if the baby is crying, her welfare is more important to me than thinking of something funny to say about music.
4. My family: This is really just an extended version of parts two and three, including the rest of my relatives as next in line of people that we will drop everything for if the need arises, though this would rarely be reflected in the schedule because we don’t live in the same town as any of them and they don’t need me on the same level as many of the other things on this list.
5. My church: In many ways, my church family is closer to me than my extended family, that’s why we’re called brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve spent most of the past six years in the same church (minus a relatively brief change of living situation that I’m sure I’ll address at some point) and they’ve seen me go through a lot over the years. Since we are all one body in Christ, we should all be working together as one for the glory of Christ. Again this may not be a heavy time commitment on the schedule (it may be more so for others), it is a priority in my heart.
6. The Gospel: I’ll admit that I am not the best evangelist of all time. Generally, I feel much more called to serve the church body as I have particular talents that go well with that calling. I’m not a particularly extroverted individual, but rather a methodical thinker that takes time to get things out there most of the time, so walking up to strangers and giving them a ‘what’s up” conversation doesn’t come super naturally to me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t take the Gospel to be a priority in my life. Even if it means helping others in the church be successful evangelists, we’re all part of the body that works together toward the goal of reaching the lost and that should be more important to us than materialistic things.
7. My job: There are people like my mom and dad who work the same job for 20 or 30 years and then retire. I don’t know how they do it. I graduated from college a decade ago and I’ve had over a half dozen different jobs since then, including three potentially lucrative professional career positions. For me, jobs come and go and I’m pretty flexible on what I am willing to do, so the specific job is rarely what is important to me. What is important to me is that in whatever I do I should be the best worker. Right now, I’m in a strange position as I’m one part entrepreneur and one part house dad. I don’t take my work lightly at all and it will reflect that quite heavily on my schedule, but everything above is more important long term and I want to make sure all those other things are taken care of before this one, even though this is a heavy time consumer.
8. My health: This is something that I’m not very good at, but is becoming increasingly important with age (I’m only 32, but things begin to take a toll pretty quickly) and I want to take care of myself so that I can be undistracted from taking care of the prior things on this list. There are a lot of things that go into good health, such as diet, exercise and proper sleep, which we will definitely get into deeper as time goes on.
9. Entertainment: If you looked at my shelves, I’m afraid that you might think that this is much higher on my priorities list. This is one of the main reasons that I have created this website and that I need a schedule. There is so much entertainment in our society that it is hard to make time for it all! I’ve got hundreds of albums to listen to, I’ve got plenty of different video game systems and my movie collection can distract me plenty. Then there’s parties and books and the beach that could get me distracted as well. These aren’t terrible things, they just need to have their place, which is why I make a schedule.
So now I’ve shown you my priorities, which really shouldn’t have very much fluctuation as far as intent, but how it is reflected in daily life can vary quite a bit.
In the coming days I will be outlining how to make a schedule so that what is important to you can squeeze into your busy daily life. Make sure that you have your priorities list written down so that you are prepared for the journey ahead!