Priorities, Habits, and Hope

What matters most to you?

It’s something I ask patients a lot, especially when they’ve been referred for fatigue management. The answers vary but the most common are usually around family and loved ones.

Where are you spending most energy and time?

That often garners a different answer. So much effort for patients goes into attending medical appointments. Or trying to maintain the same routine and activities they’ve done for much of their adult life.

The latter can be true for all of us. We keep going with a routine out of sheer habit.

Habits aren’t a bad thing, especially in terms of energy management. They save us having to actively think about everything we do, which would be exhausting. But they’re not helpful if they no longer suit our current circumstances, abilities, or priorities.

Maybe that’s where the start of a new year or new season can be helpful. It can give us thinking time. Time to consider if the things we are prioritising in terms of time and effort match what matters most to us or not. Time to consider what prioritising something more important might look like. Time to consider giving something up that isn’t of consequence. Time to consider embracing something that does. Time to consider building new habits and routines.

As Christians, we can also think about what God defines as important and whether our priorities and activities match His.

Jesus said:

“The first in importance is ‘Listen Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’”

I wonder what loving God with all that you have and are looks like for you?

For me, I think it means trying to always start my day with God in prayer. It means committing myself to ongoing learning about Him and me and the world. It means continuing to listen out for His guidance and prompting in big and little things. It means reminding myself that I can be wrong and there may be a different way of seeing things. It means remembering all that He has done for me so far with gratitude and looking forward for all that He will do with hope and increasing trust. It means being challenged and stretched. It means the pain and joy of continuous growth.

The older I get, the more of a glorious adventure life with God seems. I look back and see a life that has been so much more than I ever imagined. Places and people I would never have pictured. Situations I would never have thought I could deal with. Virtues I never believed I could develop. Knowledge and understanding I never realised could be possible.

And so this glass-half-empty person looks forward with hope. Knowing I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, aware that I am still God’s improvement project, but still with hope. Because refocussing my priorities on Him has proved always the wisest and most beneficial thing to do.

Every week the Five Minute Friday community free write for limited time inspired by a given prompt word. It’s also a fantastically supportive groups for writers. You can find more inspirational writing here: Community – Five Minute Friday

6 thoughts on “Priorities, Habits, and Hope

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