I have a question for you: what’s the center of your life? What is your primary purpose, the thing about which you care the most? That person, achievement, or possession you’d do anything, sacrifice anything, to get or keep?
For me, I realized Sunday in church that that was Leah. I am devastated when I feel I’m not providing for her. I’ve forgiven myself for most of my other sins throughout my life, but my failures with money and with my career have been hard for me to let go of since we decided to get married.
If I were to draw a diagram of my priorities, Leah would be in the middle right now. She would be the center circle from which all other aspects of my life branch out. Those that are important in their own way or important insofar as keeping her are close to her and larger. Those that are unimportant are farther away and smaller and often branching out from the more important ones.
I need to replace her with God in the middle circle for several reasons:
1. What I have in the middle circle will determine my other priorities. If I have Leah in the middle circle, serving God is important only when it doesn’t, in my mind, interfere with keeping her. If it does, I’m more likely to choose her instead of God or, when I do choose God, I’d probably do it grudgingly. Serving Him becomes a lesser priority than working to give her a nice house. Going to church is a lesser priority than cuddling with her on the couch.
2. What I have in my middle circle will determine why my remaining priorities are priorities. With God in my inner circle, Leah becomes someone given to me to help me serve God and draw closer to Him, an ally in life, my lover, and my best friend. If she is in the inner circle, she becomes something she was never meant to be: my life’s purpose. With Leah as the center, serving God with my books is often seen as a way to make money, a means God can use to open up the floodgates of His blessings which I have so richly deserved, rather than as a way to glorify Him and help others know Him as I do, regardless of whether there are positive consequences in my own life.
3. What I have in my inner circle is my passion. Right now, I’m entranced with Leah. She’s sitting across from me right now at our table, just typing away with her ear buds in, not even looking at me, and I could lose track of time staring at her. It’s romantic, yes, but where is my passion for God, a passion which should be even stronger? After all, God has done more for me, loves me more, has sacrificed more for me, has never wronged me and never will, and not only knows what’s best for me, but wants me to have it even more than Leah does.
What does your diagram look like? How do you want it to look? What’s standing in your way?