…by Jeff Sanford
In the message on Sunday, Greg challenged us to take the following vow:
I vow that my God will be my first priority, and my spouse will be my second priority.
Can we all agree on one thing? This world is crazy and difficult and often times confusing. We all want the best of everything…great marriages, great kids, great jobs, nice homes, and when all is said and done, lives that have made an impact on the world. As a result, we have what seems like a million things competing for our time and energy. Keeping our priorities straight seems like an impossible task, and we often find ourselves giving time and energy to things that may seem important but things that are not necessarily the most important. So how do we stick to the vow? How do we keep God as our #1 and our spouse as our #2?
I don’t have many answers, but I would like to share a tool that I have found extremely useful for maintaining perspective and consistently reflecting on what is most important to me. A while back, I came across a blog post from Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, who presented the idea of a life plan. Hyatt’s theory is that while many people spend a great deal of time planning things like their career, the building of their home, a vacation, or a wedding, it never occurs to people to plan their lives. As a result, many of us end up discouraged and wondering what went wrong.
While I don’t have time or the space to explain the whole idea of a life plan, a life plan is based on a simple idea: Begin with the end in mind. In other words, when all is said and done, how would you like those who are most important to you to remember you? The idea is to list those relationships that are most important to you in order (God, spouse, children, friends, colleagues, etc.), and then to reflect on how you would like them to remember you when your time on earth is done. Once you have identified those relationships and how you would like to be remembered, you simply take an honest look at where you are now and list specific action steps to get where you want to be. A regular review of the plan allows you to identify areas where you are succeeding and areas where you may need to make adjustments to the priorities in your life.
While it might seem a little crazy and like a lot of work, it’s a tool that I’ve found helpful in maintaining the right perspective on life. If you think this might be helpful for you, there is a free e-book and additional information available at the following website to guide you through the process.