I’m guessing that eighty percent of the people reading this email can ignore what I’m about to say. But just in case you are one of the special twenty percent, I invite you to read a little.
When I made my list of projects a few minutes ago, writing this note to you was at the top. And then I went to fill my coffee cup. I looked at the box of Nancy’s homemade granola. I sat in my computer chair and looked at the screen. I tried to figure out why I got that email from UPS Choice when I knew I hadn’t ordered anything. I opened Mailchimp to write and thought about learning more about who had recently subscribed and unsubscribed.
All on my way to writing a note to you about the danger of the statement, “just this one thing first.”
There are a million options of things to do first before we do the thing at the top of our list. And some of us try to do some of those million things. “I’m doing that, but I just need to do this first.”
It’s not even procrastination. Or that’s what we say. It’s efficiency: “I can do it on my way.”
But every time we do something else first, what we think is first is not.
Lent is about choosing. We are choosing to do or not do. We are preferring relationship with God to our self. And each time we try to do something else first, we risk getting lost.
- “I’ll fast after this bite.”
- “I’ll rest after these two projects.”
- “I’ll write after I read these three things.”
- “I’ll stop worrying after I worry about this relationship.”
Near the end of his life, a leader named Joshua looked at the people he had led. He told them that after he was gone, they could choose what god they wished to serve. “But,” he said, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Service to God and others starts with what we do first.
Especially for those of us in the twenty percent.
Have a great week. Starting with what you do first.
And may I make one more suggestion? Start whatever is first with, “Hi God. May we work on this together?”