First and Second Things

My Second things:

Exercise, Food, good Health, Church, Money, Rest, Fun, Work, Friendships, Family Relationships, Lucy, Abby, Palmer.

My First Thing: Relationship with Jesus, the lover of my soul.

I’m learning that it takes more than a pretty tattoo on my wrist for me to remember to keep My “First Thing” first; in fact, sometimes I feel like a total failure at this. Especially when I lose my patience with my children, or I can’t shake a nagging headache, or when I can’t stay present with a client. 

These opportunities present a choice for me: Will I continue to depend on my own strength, or will I ask for help from my Wonderful Counselor…My Prince of Peace… My Redeemer?

Here’s what C.S. Lewis has to say on the matter:

The longer I looked into it the more I came to suspect that I was perceiving a universal law… The woman who makes a dog the centre of her life loses, in the end, not only her human usefulness and dignity but even the proper pleasure of dog-keeping. The man who makes alcohol his chief good loses not only his job but his palate and all power of enjoying the earlier (and only pleasurable) levels of intoxication. It is a glorious thing to feel for a moment or two that the whole meaning of the universe is summed up in one woman — glorious so long as other duties and pleasures keep tearing you away from her. But clear the decks and so arrange your life (it is sometimes feasible) that you will have nothing to do but contemplate her, and what happens? Of course this law has been discovered before, but it will stand re-discovery. It may be stated as follows: every preference of a small good to a great, or partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice is made.
Apparently the world is made that way… You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.

Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first & we lose both first and second things. We never get, say, even the sensual pleasure of food at its best when we are being greedy.
First and Second Things by C.S. Lewis

I love being a witness to Christians putting God back in His rightful place in their lives, it’s so cool. I’m learning that this process looks different for everyone, and some of us have to make the same mistake a few times before we yell in exasperation, “Ok Lord, I give up, I need YOU!”

I have a client who I’ve been journeying with for about a year, she is very intelligent and strong-willed. Her story upitimizes the notion of “pulling up your boot straps.” You see, God knows her story (just as He know yours and mine), He knows that her independence serves her well, so He has very gently, and consistently pursued her heart. She’s wandered off, determined to make plans and “figure it out,” on her own, He has patiently been waiting for her to invite Him in. Something has changed within her over the last two months, there has been a shift in her mind and heart. Thursday we celebrated the fact that she is putting “first things first” and trusting in His faithfulness for each of the “second things.”

How many second things are clouding your vision for your one true first thing

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Wife, Mom to two young girls, Counselor, Cook, Athlete, and Follower of Jesus

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