God First, Before Everything?
|Original photo by Cecilia Marie Pulliam|
I imagine Jesus knocking on my door, right now. I am sitting on the couch next to my husband with my computer and morning coffee. I’m in my robe. My hair is a mess. I haven’t had any breakfast. Do I answer the door?
If I go that far, and find Jesus standing there, beckoning me, could I walk out without turning back? Could I leave my husband without telling him where I am going? If I hesitate, am I putting other things before God?
I really have to think that one over. Leaving without saying a word to my husband seems cruel. I can’t imagine God wanting me to hurt anyone, but he does want me to put him first — over everything, even my husband.
So, how does that go along with loving your neighbor as yourself?
The question reminded me of a quote I heard long ago. “Love your kids by loving your spouse first.”
If I love God with my whole heart and my whole soul, there will be so much love it will spill over to my spouse, my children, and all my family.
Yet, there will be a time God will ask me to put him first, to choose between something I love deeply, and him. Will I be able to do that? Sometimes I find it hard just to go to church.
Then, I had a dream.
I stood in a dark, empty church. A shaft of bright, golden light illuminated the altar. The light expanded and moved down the center aisle toward me. I felt a pull, a beckoning to enter the light. However, to do so, I would leave my life, my family, and my earthly passions. I would give up my art, my writing — everything.
In the dream, it was an easy choice. Nothing else mattered as much as standing in the light. I was not alone. Family and friends, both departed and alive, stood with me. By giving up everything for God, I received it all back a hundred, a thousand times more.
The lesson: nothing is important unless done out of love for another, and then in the end, the most loving thing I can do is love God, and let him love others through me. That could be through art, writing, charitable acts, listening to another's concerns, praying.
Done as acts of love, and not for my own personal pleasure, or gain, it should be easy to step away when that knock comes to the door.
In all honesty, it is easy to lose that perspective and become too embroiled in this earthly life. However, I expect God will remind me of my priorities.
I leave you today with a hymn. We shouldn't worry. Putting God first will answer all our prayers.
One Pair of Hands by Elvis Presley