The school year has officially started. Both of the girls enjoyed their first few days of school and we have had uneventful mornings. For all intents and purposes, this “back to school” season has been a success.
Just before getting too excited, I began to think of the New School Year like the actual “New Year” that happens every January. In the “real” New Year, people make tons of resolutions and promises to change things. A great many of these resolutions are the same ones from one year to the next (i.e. stop being late, get up earlier, lose weight). Unfortunately, most of those resolutions are long forgotten by February.
Most new school years in our home begin with the same resolve as an actual New Year: the girls go to bed on time, lunches are packed and night, clothes are picked out in advance and we make it to the on the bus stop on time sans Mommy yelling! I am not sure when the change happens but by the end of the school year, the resolved mornings have turned into teary battles.
Perhaps you don’t have children or your back -to- school days are over. Can you relate to resolving to make change only to end up dissolving into the day to day of life and things remain unchanged or worse?
In the short book of Haggai, God speaks to the Israelites about this very subject:
“Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it….. This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.”
God had instructed the Israelites to rebuild the temple but they grew complacent and did not finish the work they started. In fact, sixteen years passed after they constructed the altar of the temple and left their work uncompleted. In those years, they turned their attention towards their own affairs instead of God’s. Although they busied themselves, their labor was never enough. In fact, they began to find that they were never satisfied and constantly frustrated. When God commanded the Israelites to give careful thought to their ways, he was essentially calling their priorities into question.
We stay up late, skip out on morning quiet times, grab food on the go, stop exercising, and all kinds of things in an effort to get more things done. Life, with all of its demands (work, school, children, marriage) beats down on us like a hail storm. Sometimes it seems easier to run quickly in the rain towards shelter instead of taking the time to open our umbrella of protection, God. We need to give careful thought to our ways.
Our biblical priorities are: God first, family second and career third.
I love the way Joyce Meyer summed this principle up. She said: “The key to having God’s “abundant life”—His love, peace and joy—is keeping Him in His rightful place in our priorities.”
The start of a new school year is a great time to realign our priorities.
Realigning our priorities sounds great but how do we even get started? I would love for you to join me in a seven day challenge to make scripture the first thing that we read each day–(yes even before email, texts and facebook)!