Changed Priorities Ahead
Today for January’s Synchroblog several bloggers are posting on the title “New Beginnings”.This post is my contribution. Please also read other contributors to the synchroblog by following the links that I will add at the bottom of this post.
Changed priorities ahead
Changed Priorities Ahead is a common road sign in Britain. It is often used where the road layout has changed. It is a warning for those who may think they are familiar with the road that something has changed and they may have to give way to other traffic at a point where they didn’t used to.
Christianity has a lot to say about changed priorities ahead. Many Christians look back to a time when they were born again and their life was set on a new course by a deep experience of God’s salvation. Often they experienced many changed priorities ahead in their lives.
My changed priorities are still ahead
My experience occurred over a period of two or three months in the summer over 30 years ago. Many years later when I recounted this story I was asked “But when exactly did you ask Jesus into your life?”
“I don’t remember any exact moment.” I answered. “In fact come to think about asking Jesus into my life is something that I still continue to do to this day.”
Changed priorities ahead – not just a one-off change
We can easily forget that the new beginning that God gives us is something we can continually experience as we let God change our priorities on an ongoing basis to be a better match with his priorities.
Rather than thinking of “Changed priorities ahead” as being a one of experience when we first became a Christian I wonder if it might be better to think of this as a continued lifestyle.
Changing your priorities
January marks a beginning of a new year. As such it can be a great time to look at how we might change those priorities and reflect on a few questions:
What will this year bring?
Will the continuing recession dominate our experiences? Will unrest and war loom on the international horizon? What about the effects of climate change hitting us with extreme weather? Perhaps rather then worrying and waiting for these things it’s time to take hold of your destiny yourself.
What are you doing that is new this year?
Our church is reshuffling our groups and so I am learning to meet with a set of new people. It does require some change but this can be really helpful in bringing us fresh insight as we interact with different people. I wonder what changes will bring new opportunities for you.
How can you change your priorities this year?
New Year’s resolutions can be based on musts and shoulds: “I will stick to my Bible reading schedule.” The danger is that when you fail to keep them you are tempted to give up. If you want to adjust your priorities you’d be much better off setting goals especially regularly reviewed SMART goals.
How can this year bring you one step closer to your dreams?
This is a good question to ask as you are setting our goals. What would you really like to do if money was no object? What would you do if knew you couldn’t fail? You may need to break these dreams down and think of small steps towards them.
Where can you take an initiative this year?
Sometimes these new things are decided by others outside ourselves whether globally or locally. But other times we can start something new ourselves. Initiatives are worth it. Three years ago my wife and I started our own little project – a job club in our neighbourhood which is just now taking off.
What should you stick at something and when should you change?
Sometimes you might be best sticking at things even when it’s difficult and not working out as fast as you thought it would. Other times you might need to refocus and do something different. This is a difficult question that perhaps only you can answer. But it is one that is always worth asking.
The way ahead
Keep reviewing your priorities
Though we have set ourselves goals and are working towards them there are still things that may need readjustment as we go. I am sure that these are questions we will continually come back to time and time again.
Keep reminding yourself of your priorities
Yes, looking at our goals can be a time to change them but also it is a time to remind ourselves to press on with them. And as we get on with your lives throughout the coming year let us press on with what God is giving us to do each day.