Around five o’clock am, I woke up with one eye open and fumbled for my iPhone strategically located on my night stand. I blinked a few times to remove the blur cautiously scanning my inbox for emails to alert me of any system issues. The morning inbox determined how hectic my morning would be and set the pace for the day. After a long day of back-to-back meetings, it was time to recheck the inbox which might take a few hours to catch up. If systems were stable, I jumped in the car for an hour commute home with a typical ETA of eight o’clock pm. Wake up the next morning, rinse and repeat. Being a technology executive was my life and one that I found great personal satisfaction. The only problem with it was my obsessive priority on that alone. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’re not in technology, but the demands of your job are similar.
Without question, work was my number one priority above my husband, family, friends, and God. It’s easy to determine our priority because it’s where we spend the most time and energy. I loved the rewards of work, and I became addicted to performance. I found an identity in my role that I had not experienced, and I put the most value on that identification. I fooled myself to believe that my performance addiction was not a problem and that people just didn’t have the capacity to understand. Inwardly, I became arrogant, and it was so subtle and gradual that I didn’t see it coming. That season in my life perfectly illustrates the world view of success which is why it’s so deceptive. I was doing so well and working really hard. What is wrong with that?! I was working for ME first, and the Lord somewhere down the priority chain and every relationship suffered. I put work before my Husband, family, and friends on a daily basis. And for what? Selfish ambition, prestige, money, and lifestyle. I missed important dates, conversations, and time that I will never get back.
Deception is powerful! Praise God that He never let go of me when I had let go of Him. It was the wake-up call of a struggling marriage that used to be very happy that forced me to evaluate my choice of putting work first. The day that I decided to put God first, everything in life started to fall into its rightful and righteous place. I made some tough career changes that don’t seem difficult at all now. A new found love of life, joy, peace, and every relationship is now stronger. Jesus is the rock and the center of real life fulfillment and amazing adventure. Not overnight but through the glorious journey choosing God first every day and seeking God’s wisdom life changed. By the way, I still have crazy ambition but redirected towards God’s plan. I still have money and a new lifestyle filled with the freedom to spend as much time with those that matter. I humbly gave up the prestige and give God all the glory. God is so so good!
Shifting priorities to put God first becomes easy only when we understand who God is and what He’s all about. At that point, it’s impossible to think about life in any other capacity. We know why we are here and once we become available to God, He reveals the unique way for each of us to carry out His ultimate purpose found in Mark 12:30-31.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
What is your priority in life? Ask God to reveal the answers to your unanswered questions through His written Word.