I am reminded of a fable that highlights how we often misalign our priorities -- I'll put it into my own words and context here:
There was an American businessman that liked to travel to remote places. One such trip he ventured to a remote fishing village that stood at a beautiful point on the Pacific Ocean.
As he marveled at the scenery, he decided he’d take a fishing excursion with a local fisherman. After a successful day at sea, he sat down with the fisherman over dinner and talked strategy and ideas with him.
“You see, I could invest money into your fishing business, and in a couple decades, you could run a fleet of boats and have dozens of fisherman working for you. After all of that success, you could then retire and do what you love to do...”
“Well, kind sir,” the fisherman interrupted — “I already do what I love every day.”
You see, we often prioritize things we think will make us “successful”, but we haven’t spent very much time defining success. Many times we start envisioning a wild, bold, and wealthy future but we in turn neglect the low-hanging fruit all around us.
Our first priority should be self-awareness that comes through seeing life through the eyes of Our Creator.
Once we are continually asking to see with an eternal perspective, through spiritual eyes if you will, we can then start to make prioritization decisions through the abundant wisdom given to us.
As with any relationship, this will take time. Yep, you’ve got it. You have to log hours of intentional time with Your Creator. My favorite? Time in the sun with the Son. Practically speaking, I typically fast through lunchtime. When I am getting hungry, I try to get outside and meditate or take a meditative walk.
I ask for fuel from The Source of Life instead of making the source my refrigerator or pantry. Living Water lasts forever — a sandwich only for minutes.
Once you are filled by the Source of Life, you should start to see things differently, namely, the people around you.
You’ll be energized to love and serve those near you — you’ll start looking for ways to help instead of to be fed.
It is not always easy, because as my kids will attest to me saying, “We are all selfish bastards.”
Unfortunately, we like to do things our own way and for our own interests. But ultimately, this becomes a painful void in our lives no matter how “successful” we might be.
So get first things first in your life. Love from The Source, Love for those around you, and Love for what you do. Then you will experience true freedom.