I’m sitting in the kitchen of the home in which I’m staying. (I currently reside with an older and wiser couple: also known as “my parents.”) I just got done organizing all of my syllabi, notes, dividers, etc. into the corresponding binders and then wrote down my big assignments that are due in the month of September. Let me break it down. By the end of the week of September 13th, I will have read an entire book and turned in three papers. (Side note: for those who do not know, I also work part-time at a fabulous new restaurant in Historic Roswell, Table and Main.) All of this only means I’m not going to be busy at all. I will have time to blog three times a day, walk Blue up and down Canton Street while casually chit-chatting with the fellow residents and restaurant owners/workers/locals in Downtown Roswell, and paint my fingernails a different shade of red every day.
Alright, seriously. Now I have open in front of me my copy of Coogan’s oh-so-user-friendly Old Testament text book/walk-through. I’m wondering to myself first and foremost: how am I going to set my priorities straight this semester and the five more to come?
(Insert transition about some kind of relevant reading.) The religious fiction novel, “The Shack,” portrays a wonderful picture of the three-part relationship we as Christians have with our Creator. I don’t want to go into book-review mode; however, I do want to go back to one of my top favorite passages from the book on setting priorities, as doing so wisely starting now will be what either makes or breaks me during seminary. And by “make” I really mean “get by.”
“I don’t want to be the first among a list of values; I want to be the center of everything. When I live in you, then together we can live through everything that happens to you. Rather than a pyramid, I want to be the center of a mobile, where everything in your life – your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities – is connected to me but moves with the wind, in and our and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being.” – Jesus speaking to Mack in “The Shack”
As easy as it sounds, to keep God at the “center of everything,” doing so is actually quite complex, at least for me. I have the quick tendency to turn into beast/competitive/out-of-control mode when I find myself heavily weighed down by the regularities of my everyday life; thus, the bigger picture is cloudy and murky in my mind. I just want to write and share my feelings about how important it is for me and all of us to prioritize well and whole-heartedly. I will be challenging myself in the coming weeks to keep the bigger picture clear, visible, and tangible. And, I challenge you to know your own “bigger picture,” thus prioritizing accordingly.
Cheers to good fiction and the Old Testament!