"Whatever is in first place, if it isn't Christ alone, it is in the wrong place" (Chuck Swindoll, Dear Graduate, 12).
"Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control" (Proverbs 25:28)."If some corporate position is the god of your life, then something terrible occurs within when it is no longer a future possibility. If your career, however, is simply a part of God's plan and you keep it in proper perspective, you can handle a demotion just as well as you can handle a promotion" (Swindoll 10). This was the page I opened to yesterday and again today from the book one of my sisters gifted me for graduation. And boy, were these past few days ever needed for me to regain a proper perspective on my life.
See, here in Monteverde I had started growing used to the work life, the day-to-day, do-what you-gotta-do, eat-and-sleep-only-when-you-can life. Work, boyfriend, academic success, sense of what option I have after this fellowship, occasional contact with family, a couple friends I see if I have time...what more could I have asked for? But it took a crisis-esque situation at my work and an exhausting weekend to finally prepare my heart between Sunday, Monday, and today for the word that I was to receive: You are falling into the temporary comfort trap. Moreover, your have lost your self-discipline and lowered your standards for yourself. Stop settling. Stop compromising. I know what's best for you, your body, your career, your love life, your health, your sanity, your relationships with others. Control yourself and seek more from ME and from everything in your life. You cannot do this alone by any means, but you need to do it, and you need to start doing it now.
The need to push through and fix many things that I had carelessly let slip by in my attempt to work through a certain process at work, in addition to continuing to try to keep up with my volunteer work on the side in other non-profits that I love, wore me out last week. As exhausted as my boy looked when he came on Sunday to vote and spend a short hour with his family and with me, was how exhausted I felt internally. It took constant fatherly words from God in my heart and the encouragement of different family members at my boy's house to bring to my attention two things:
- I have physical needs: food, water, sleep, exercise, affection.
- I am capable of exerting self-control over any of these areas, to grant myself more or less of them.
I cannot work well and glorify God through my work if I am tired from having stayed up late the previous night. I cannot maintain a pure and safe relationship with my boyfriend and glorify God through our relationship if I am not exerting caution over my thought-life, both when I am with him and when I am away from him. I cannot take care of my body and glorify God through exercise if I am not waking up early enough to do so, and if I am not managing how much and what kind of food and drink I place into my body this is made even more difficult. These are priorities beneath one grand priority: honoring God. All that I am to do is to glorify the One who gave, and continues to give, His all for me.
If putting Christ in first place in our lives isn't a priority, what is? Is that really how it's supposed to be, how we want it to be, dear Reader? What are we doing to change that?