Twice last week while driving around a curve in the road, I had to brake suddenly to avoid a head on collision with a reckless driver who seemed to have lost control of his vehicle. These harrowing experiences have caused me to ponder the likely content of my final article if I had the benefit of knowing when that might be.
I think that I would try to encourage people to know their Creator. Generations of Barbadians have known Him and millions around the world have inexplicably accepted torture and death rather than deny knowing Him. Like them, I can attest that He is real and that to know Him is a most beneficial experience. This benefit can be sustained by reprioritising life’s activities and responsibilities. Jesus’ teachings can be a valuable guide when selecting and ordering priorities.
Everyone has priorities that help to shape their behaviour. Some are well thought out while others are adopted due to parental, peer, or other influences. It may take years before intended priorities become demonstratable, but that is the goal. The following are my first five priorities.
My commitment to God is my first priority, and my desire is to know Him more and to follow Jesus’ example. My commitment to my family is my second priority, and my desire is for there to be no limit to my devotion to and support and love of them. My commitment to my responsibilities is my third priority. My aim is to consistently give my best to my employer as well as to any professional, social, and church organisation to which I am a member.
My commitment to other people is my fourth priority. My desire is to support and encourage people to mature in all aspects of their life, whomever and wherever they may be. My commitment to myself is my fifth priority. My desire is to remain mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy so that I can fully enjoy life’s experiences.
All of the above noted activities and responsibilities are important to me, and I have allocated some time towards each of them. However, if for example, my family required additional time, then it would not be taken from the time scheduled for a higher priority, like time spent with God.
With God, everything about this life makes perfect sense, and all of the pieces of life’s puzzle seem to fit perfectly together. I wish that I could explain in a logical manner why I choose to make the Lord of all creation the Lord of my entire life. I was not in despair or depressed, or engaged in some unacceptable behaviour that required changing. I was a relatively compliant and contented 14-year-old boy who encountered God, and recognised that a relationship with the Creator of the universe could only benefit the person who chose to pursue one.
I therefore acknowledged my shortcomings, felt God’s love, received His forgiveness, and accepted Jesus’ leadership. There is an indescribable security in knowing that the Almighty Creator of all living and non-living things is on your side and is your friend. There is also an overwhelming desire to walk reverently with Him, and a quiet confidence that whenever you reach for His hand, as a child reaches for his fathers, that God will always respond, especially during difficult times.
I have befriended God for the past 24 years and I know that there is nothing too hard for Him. I am convinced that anyone who associates with the Lord Jesus can only improve. Perhaps it is for this reason why persons who desired a dramatic improvement in their lives tended to associate with Jesus. They included persons who were poor, sick, depressed, emotionally hurt, as well as those with low self esteem, those searching for meaning, and those who wanted a second chance at life.
Since persons can only benefit from a relationship with the Lord Jesus, developing such a relationship with Him should be the logical first step in any psychological or drug related recovery or emotionally healing exercise. However, Jesus is so much more than a life changer. Sometimes the journey may be difficult and unpleasant but there is an incomprehensible sustaining joy in knowing that He is always by your side.
The responsibility of those who know God is simply to point others to Him. Deciding to know our Creator, whose love for us far exceeds any other experience, is perhaps the most sensible and beneficial decision that any person can make. Running from His love is irrational.