My friends in the recovery community like to say it often: “First things first.”
It’s an old AA slogan, one that recovering alcoholics and addicts fall back on when they are feeling the need to re-group and re-think what they need to do, or not do, as the case may be. To hear some of the stories, you’d think that these simple words are some kind of lifesaver.
The truth is, they are.
In fact, if more people would commit to following the advice found here – to sit down and think, pray, listen, and discern what that means for them – what “first things first” means for them – much pain would be averted.
I’m reminded that Jesus was asked more than once about “first things first” from the perspective of faith.
“Rabbi,” a young man asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“Rabbi,” one schooled in the law inquired, “which Commandment is the greatest?”
When Jesus answered, he was quite clear on what they should do to set things “first things first” in their own life.
Love God. Love other people, at least as much as you love yourself.
Easy to say – difficult to do – but come anywhere close to actually doing it – and your life will be changed forever.
We spend so much time, so much energy, setting and re-setting priorities. Too often, we set those priorities according to something far less than a deep desire to be in loving relationship with God and with those whom God loves, which, incidentally, is everyone.
“First things first.” It’s a lot more than a slogan for a meeting of recovering addicts and alcoholics. It’s a call to relationship, to love, to purpose, to meaning, to service, to love God and love others.
It’s a New Year. It’s a good time to put first things first. Where and how does God, where do others, fit into that equation for you?