We are often busy. But being busy does not always mean we are busy with the right things. We have probably all had those days were we were doing something all day, but at the end of the day we wondered what we got accomplished.
Try this little exercise. Write this:
It is faster to do one thing at a time.
Now write the same thing, but switch back and forth between the two parts.
1 It, 2 is, 3 faster, 4 to, 5 do, 6 one, 7 thing, 8 at, 9 a, 10 time.
Which was faster? To write the sentence and then the numbers? Or to try and write them both at the same time?
The point of this little exercise is to show we are not good at multi-tasking. In fact, studies show that we don’t multi-task. We simply switch from one thing to the other very fast. We can switch so fast that there is a perception we are doing more than one thing at a time, but the truth of the matter is that we are only doing one thing at a time. That is the way God made us.
In our busy world we try to do it all. And we try to do it all at once. But we don’t do it all very well. What if we gave our time and attention to the one most important thing to be done each day and then did not do anything else until that one thing was accomplished?
Each morning I make a list of the most important things I have to do on a given day. Sometimes that list is 4 things. Sometimes that list is 20 things. After I make the to-do list, I force myself to choose one thing. It is the one thing that I must do if I did nothing else. Then I devote my time, energy, and attention to that one thing until it is completed.
If find that if I do that, my day is much more effective and productive than the days that I don’t. Somedays, I will come into the office and do my morning devotion. Then I will check email. After that I may do a little sermon preparation. But then I remember I have a phone call I need to make, so I pause working on the sermon to make the phone call. I find myself switching back and forth from one thing to the next and at the end of the day I have not finished anything.
Everything changes when I prioritize and plan. When the first things are put first, the priorities align and the rest will fall into place. More is accomplished in my day. I am amazed at how many things I can cross off my to-do list when I prioritize. I am more fulfilled, and I have more time to simply enjoy my day.
Worship is similar. Worship is establishing priorities in our lives. Worship is to say that God is first. And when the first things are first, our lives will be aligned. So many of our challenges are the result of our priorities being out of alignment. Instead of giving God the first of our time, energy, and attention – we give him what is left over. Instead of using his supernatural power, we rely upon our natural strength. Instead of asking God what he wants, we tell God what we want. Instead of serving God for his glory, we ask God to serve us for our glory. It’s all a matter of priority? What do you want the most? God’s glory or your glory?
How do you think prioritizing worship in your life, would change the rest of your life?