Recently, I’ve been pondering the things/people that I value most in life. If I could create a list right now, I think an accurate ranking would look something like this:
- Close Friends
Theoretically in a perfect world, I would be fully surrendered to God. I would live courageously, serving whoever and wherever I am called to serve. My relationships with others would come before myself and any other objects because at the end of the day, we remember the memories that we had with those we love, not the things that we have acquired over the years. After focusing on others, I would prioritize myself because I realize that it’s important to be spiritually, emotionally, and physically well. Finally school and work, my sources of achievement would be last on my list of most valuable aspects of my life. While they are useful in helping me attain experience and wisdom, they aren’t as important the relationships that I have with God and with others.
But let’s be real here.
It’s so easy to let other things consume your time. Soon, the very things/people that are most “valuable” in your life hardly are a part of your day. Just look at a typical summer day for me.
6am: wake up, eat breakfast, watch TV, go on phone
7am: do my Bible plan/journal for 15 minutes
8am: do chores or random errands
10am: shower, watch TV, go on phone
11am: eat lunch, watch TV, go on phone
12pm: nap, read, go on phone
1pm: get motivation to go to work
2pm: drive to work
3pm-11pm: work, work, work, work, work
11pm: maybe say, “hi,” to my dad before I go and eat a snack
12am: hopefully I’m sound asleep
The things that are most important to me should take up most of my time, right? So I should have plenty of time with God and with the people I love. What do I do instead? Work a ton and mindlessly waste time via TV or my phone. During the school year, my schedule would pretty much be the same, but instead of 8 hours of work, I probably would have 8 hours worth of school work.
God, who is number one in my life, only gets about 15-30 minutes of my day. My family hardly gets any time at all. There are some days where I don’t talk to them for more than 5 minutes because our schedules conflict that much. When I do talk to them, I’m usually angry because I’m hungry or tired from work. Some days I see my friends, and other days I do not. Recently, though, I’ve found it hard to make time for my friends because I’m exhausted.
What I’m learning more and more about myself is that I idolize work/school even though I value my relationships with God, family, and friends. I get so distracted by feeling busy, productive, and focused that I loose sight of what is really important to me. What happens when the time your spend doing things doesn’t align with what you consider important? Well, I become a nasty version of myself. I become stressed, tired, and burnt out because I don’t dedicate time to the things that fill me up. I don’t want to be consumed by trivial matters. I want to focus on the things that are important in my life and truly make time for those things.
This is a wake-up call for me. I want to live a full life. I want to live a life that God calls me to live, one where I wake up every day and commit to doing whatever God wants me to do. I want to have close relationships with my family because I’m lucky enough to have two parents and a brother who love and support me. Not everyone has that, and I’ve seen first hand how lack of family damages a child. If that means I have to turn down the intensity on school and work, then so be it. At the end of the day, I’m not going to remember the grade I got in Biochemistry or how many hours I was a CNA. I’m going to remember how I felt during each stage of my life. I hope that I can be overfilled with joy through the good and the bad. That only comes when my ranking of important things/people actually takes precedence in my life.
So I challenge you, what do you value the most in life? Chart out a typical week and see how much time you actually allot to those things. It’s eye-opening. I pray that we can stop being blinded by trivial matters and instead start focusing on those that are most precious to us.
Lots of love,