Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first word be your Name, let my first action be to kneel before you in prayer. – John Baillie
Put God first in your life! It is something I have said. It is something I try to do. I want God to be first and foremost in my life.
But I will be honest and admit that this is a struggle. I do not often put God first. I tend to put my worry and anxiety first. Prayer becomes more of my last resort than my first option. If I am honest, I will recognize that I give more lip-service to God being important than making him important.
A place where I struggle with this is having God be my first thoughts of the day. This morning when I woke up, the first thing I did was not to ponder God’s presence. The first thing I did was to turn on my phone to check on the news about the hurricane. How bad was the devastation in the Bahamas? Will it hit the US Coast?
My thoughts then went to my task list and calendar. Today was the first day for our church preschool. I wanted to make sure and be there to greet the parents and students. My daughter also had her first cross country meet, and it was uniform distribution night for our son’s soccer team.
I was off and running. I would have my devotion time, but it became more of a task to check off the list than quality time spent with God. This morning, I was more concerned that I was a day behind in my readings. My biggest motivation was to catch up on my reading, making it more about my reading than about meeting God.
I find that the starting point of my day is important. When my first impulse is to check all that is wrong with the world, to focus on my crazy schedule, and to fret about the burdens I place upon myself – I begin to question God’s presence and ability. I lose perspective, and my problems grow more prominent in my mind than God.
But when my thoughts start with God, I approach the troubles of the world, the affairs of my life, and my calling in a new light. I discover peace in the storm and hope for the day. I know that God is greater than anything the world can throw at me.
Putting God first in our thoughts is not about doing so out of obligation. Instead, it is something we need. We need God at the forefront of our minds to face the day.
So how about you? What is first in your mind – your problems or your God? How do you make your first thoughts in the morning be of God? How do your first thoughts of the day influence the remainder of your day?