Hunter Camp: First Things First

 

Hunter Camp is the Associate Paster at Memorial Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Augustine. Contributed image

Hunter Camp is the Associate Paster at Memorial Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Augustine. Contributed image

By Hunter Camp

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get my priorities wrong.  Sometimes I don’t put first things first.

It’s not always easy to put God first, to make God the sovereign of our lives, and our families.  I’ll be the first to say that life gets hectic and scary. Things happen and we look to food, sports, people, entertainment, shopping, or money rather than God.

Whatever we fear in this world, there is always some person or some product promising to save us. With their easy guarantees and advertisements, it’s not hard for us to fall into the trap of displacing God. I don’t about you, but I misplace my devotion and fidelity to God. But we would do well to remember what St. Augustine once wrote: We must order our allegiances.

Someone once asked the legendary Dallas Cowboys football coach, Tom Landry, why he had been so successful. He said, “In 1958, I did something everyone who has been successful must do: I determined my priorities for my life — God, family, and then football.”

It’s the little things, I suppose. It’s in the little things of life where our lives our really built. To put God first means that the things of God take priority in our lives. Prayer. Worship. Serving others. Studying scripture. Giving sacrificially of ourselves and our financial resources. Forgiving others as God forgives us.

Over the triple entrances to the Cathedral of Milan there are three inscriptions spanning the beautiful arches. Over one is carved a wreath of roses, and underneath are the words, “All that which pleases is but for a moment.” Over the other arch is a cross, and there are the words, “All that which troubles us is but for a moment.” But underneath the great central arch is the inscription, “That only is important which is eternal.”

As we well know, at the end of the day, you and I must get our priorities straight and put first things first. No one can order our lives for us—not spouses, friends, or anyone else. We are not perfect—and perfect we will never be. But we can strive to prioritize our lives so that our lives honor God. We can strive to put God first. And, by the power of Almighty Grace, may we learn to put first things first.

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Hunter Camp is the associate pastor at Memorial Presbyterian Church (USA) in St. Augustine, FL.  Email him at hcamp@memorialpcusa.org or find him on his blog, http://godtalk-hunter.blogspot.com

 

 

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