One of the questions that comes up time after time in job interviews is related to prioritizing tasks. It sounds something like this: “How do you organize and prioritize your tasks throughout the day?” Invariably this would come up with the subject of multitasking and/or trying to juggle between projects with coworkers versus demands from customers. I used to try to answer that by talking about my ongoing task list and numbering them the Franklin Covey way each morning, tagging top priority tasks with “A”, then the second level important tasks with “B” and then the remaining tasks with “C”. After that is numbering each of those categories so that you end up with A1, A2, B1, B2, etc.
But after one such interview, it occurred to me that there was a much deeper issue. Specifically, what determines which tasks get A’s and which ones get B’s or C’s? That’s when I realized that what drives the assignment of those labels is determined by our values. In other words, if timely customer response has a higher value than completing projects with coworkers, any tasks related to timely customer response is going to be placed higher on the priority chart. An “A” versus a “B” category.
In the same way, our daily personal task list is categorized by our values. Which brings me to the real topic today, which is that one of the habits I want to build this year is a daily time with God in Bible study and prayer. I want to make it a priority. Yesterday, our pastor talked about Revelation 2:1-7, which is a scolding from John (the author) to the church at Ephesus for leaving their “first love”, namely their love for Jesus Christ. They had become more concerned with the mechanics and rituals of “playing church” then they were about the heart and zeal for fellowship with Christ. As a result, they had become apathetic.
In a new devotional I just received from Grace to You called Remember and Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior, John MacArthur starts off on Day 1 by referencing the same passage in Revelation (insert creepy music from The Twilight Zone). Could it be a sign? A gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit that I’m supposed to be paying attention to this? Could be. If it is, then it worked because I will admit that I have become spiritually apathetic in these past couple of months.
And as I was reflecting on the goals and habits I wanted to achieve this year, I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the activities and people and “noise” vying for my attention and time and energy. And so where do I start? I start with the things I value most. And what I value most (or at least want to) is putting God first, seeking Him first, in all that I do. Whether that’s starting the day with meditation and prayer; or quietly asking for wisdom before a client meeting; or intentionally praying for guidance on a new project; I want to tap into His limitless power and wisdom and love and resources so that everything I do brings Him glory and is thus blessed by Him. Only then will the rest of my activities have any chance of being “successful”.
For your advantage,
What are your priorities, spiritual or otherwise? How do your values determine them?