In order to have our priorities right we must take care of first things first. In other words, we must take care of what is most important first. If we don’t, it won’t really matter what we end up doing.
We must put first things first
I came across a great story that illustrates this principle perfectly. Tennessee Titans center Kevin Long, who played under Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State University, said his college coach inspired the team with parables. Long recounted a favorite story:
[Bowden] was playing college baseball, and he had never hit a home run. Finally he hit one down the right-field line, into the corner. He rounds first and looks to the third-base coach. He turned at second, was halfway to third and the coach was still waving him on. He got to home; he hit the plate. He had his first home run. He was so excited and everybody was slapping him five. Then the pitcher took the ball, threw to the first baseman, and the umpire called him out.
[Coach Bowden] said, “If you don’t take care of first base, it doesn’t matter what you do.”
My first things
1. My relationship with God.
This has to be my number one priority. This is where my strength comes from.
I must take care of myself before I can take care of anyone or anything else. This includes my physical health, emotional health, spiritual health and mental health.
3. My relationship with my wife.
After God, this is my most important relationship. I must nurture this relationship.
4. My relationship with my children.
My relationship with my children is extremely important to me. I must prioritize spending time with them.
Everything else I do comes after these first things. If I don’t prioritize my life around these four “first things” something else will take their place and/or I may never get to them.
How are you doing at putting first things first? What are your “first things”?