“In his novel The Mysterious Island, author Jules Verne writes about five men who hijack a balloon to escape from prison. It rises in the air and the wind promptly blows it out over the ocean, but as the journey continues the balloon begins to lose altitude. The men soon realize they are going to crash into the ocean and possibly drown unless they discard some weight from the basket of their balloon. They begin by jettisoning the non-essentials: shoes, weapons, coats; and the balloon rises once again, but only temporarily. As they sink toward the water a second time they must somehow rid themselves of more weight. They conclude it is better to continue in the air hungry than to drown, so they throw their food overboard and eventually their gold. Still, the balloon continues to descend. They decide to cut the ropes holding the very basket they are standing in, leaving them to cling to the meshes. The balloon rises and they survive and finally spot land.
Those men were taught a lesson about priorities we’d all do well to learn. As long as the gas in the balloon kept them at a comfortable altitude, they kept things in the basket that seemed essential to them. Yet they quickly realized their true priorities as they sank toward certain death in the ocean. What they thought was essential became trivial and was quickly discarded.”
Priorities affect every area of our lives. All that God has to work with is a direct result of your priority choices on your Life Palette. In Romans 6:16, Paul tells us why this is so critical to our life’s composition: “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”
(Excerpt from my book Life Palette, to be released in a few weeks)
3 Steps To Setting And Living Your Priorities:
1. Intentionally Set Your Priorities
Take some time to figure out what your priorities are. Reflect on what and who is most important to you. Write it down and intentionally decide that these are your priorities.
2. Focus, Focus, Focus
It’s normal to begin with a list of a dozen or more priorities on your list and yet it’s improbable if not impossible to make that many priorities a true priority, much like the men in Jules Vern novel. Simplify. Narrow down your list to 3 or 4. You don’t have to discard the others, just put them on a wish list for another time.
3. Choose and Evaluate
Make it a point every morning to live your priorities. Remind yourself of each of them (again this is why it’s important to only have 3 or 4) then at the end of each day, evaluate how well you lived your priorities out throughout the day. What adjustments do you need to make for tomorrow?