The red light on my phone is lit indicating that I have at least one message waiting for my attention, but I'm not going to listen to it yet. First things first.
It's my first day back in the office after a wonderful and blessed maternity leave, and I am returning not only with new life in our family, but a new energy and a renewed spirit. This morning in the car Karoline and I played a usual game as I drove her to Princess Camp. "What's making you smile today, Mommy?"
"Well, Karoline, I'm going back to work today and that's making me smile."
"Why?" she questioned. Following up with, "That's a new part of the game, Mommy. You have to say why."
"It's making me smile because I miss the church and being a pastor is one of things God wants me to do. I want to get back to doing it."
I do want to get back to doing it, and I went to get back to doing it even better in God's eyes. So first things first.
I'm not checking that red message that's staring at me. I might even cover up the light for a few minutes. I'm not going to check my e-mail. I'm not going to look at the calendar. I'm not even going to look at the Scripture for Sunday.
First things first, I'm going to pray. I'm not going to read the Bible to figure out how to present it to others; I'm going to read the Bible to figure out what God's saying to me today. I'm going to get back at this with healthier spiritual practices for myself which will help me be the pastor God is calling me to be. First things first.
It's not that this idea is new to me or to others. It's just that like anyone else sometimes my discipline slips. I am thankful to God who gives second chances. (And thirds and fourths and fifths and....) I'm going to start my day in the office not with phone messages or e-mails or Facebook or blogs or text study or any other of the myriad things I could be doing. I'm going to start my day with prayer, and I pray it will transform my ministry and my life with Christ.
First things first.