Choosing What Balls to Drop
Jennifer SlatteryAuthor and speaker Jennifer Slattery has addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation and her love for seeing others embrace freedom in Christ is evident in each of her six contemporary novels and on her devotional blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As Founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer on Facebook at JenSlatte.
- 2019 May 28
I’m fairly certain I routinely disappoint a lot of people. I’m late responding to text messages, my house is rarely clean, and there are times when I go to cook dinner and find the fridge empty.
Each day, there are things I choose to ignore, and other things that get ignored by default. And yet, even with the latter, I make the choice. By choosing to do one thing, I am, in essence, choosing to let something else go.
Time is our most precious–and most easily lost and wasted–resource.
I want to make sure I’m making the most of it. That I’m actively choosing which balls to drop. Because when something’s important to me, I make time for it. My priorities are revealed in my schedule.
So what is?
Jesus. My husband. My daughter. My church family and my friends.
At least, that’s what I say. But is this true? Does this claim reveal itself in my typical day?
God had given Him an incredible task, the most important responsibility known to man, and His time was incredibly short. In the span of maybe six years, Jesus was to reveal the heart of His Father to all mankind, pay for the sins of humanity, select and train a small group of motley men to birth His church, defeat death and sin, rise from the dead, and then return to the Father.
All while people were pressing in on Him, begging for His time, for His healing, His touch, wherever He went.
For me, that’s when things get exponentially difficult–when I’ve got something I know I need to do, but it feels like everyone else needs me. If I’m not careful, I can get swept into the chaos and confusion of other people’s expectations and lose sight of what Christ is calling me to do.
In other words, there are many times when I put everyone and everything above my Savior.
Is that idolatry? I’m not sure, but I know it’s contradictory to what I often claim–that Jesus is my Lord, my master, my God. Instead, in those moments, He becomes an addition. Almost an afterthought. One that leaves me exhausted, depleted, and hovering near but never quite grasping the abundant life Christ offers (John 10:10).
You may be familiar with this fact: As Jesus taught and healed in Galilee, His fame grew, and “vast crowds” followed Him (Luke 5:15), pressing in on Him, wherever He went. So, He dropped everything and immediately responded to their demands, right? Wouldn’t that be the loving, the “Christian” thing to do?
Not always. “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 15:16, NLT). There were times He chose to ignore the constant pull of the crowd, the very ones He’d come to save, to remove Himself–in order to be filled. Refueled. Re-centered.
This left the disciples baffled. “Everyone is looking for you,” they said. (Mark 1:35-37)
I can almost hear the exasperation in their voices: “Lord, where have You been???”
Where? With His Father.
Reading this, I’m tempted to think, “But that was Jesus. He was God, and I’m clearly not.”
And yet, Jesus came not only to give us life but to show us, in clear, tangible steps, how to live it. And, through His death and resurrection, He gave us the power to do just that.
The question I must ask myself is: will I? Will I be intentional in how I spend my time, will I treat the most important things as the most important things? Will I trust that if I put Him first, He’ll take care of everything else?
Let’s talk about this! Take a moment to prayerfully evaluate your schedule. What does it reveal about your priorities? What might you need to shift in order to place God more at the center?
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