Monday, August 6, 2012

Proverbs 24: 27 First things first!

27 Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.

Our wise instructor has a concept for us here, that can be applied to so many different situations . . . he's all about setting priorities here, or getting "first things first."

I'm sure that in Solomon's day, he was thinking about a farmer who perhaps was a new bridegroom, anxious to get a good start. He would probably have started long before the wedding, clearing and preparing the fields, planting his vineyard, his olive trees, or his crops, and doing all the things that were necessary to ensure that his farm was a successful one. Only when those things were complete would he address the residence that he would bring his bride home to see -- laying the foundation, erecting the walls, completing the roof to keep the wind and rain away, etc. The fledgling farm or vineyard would not have had much chance of success, had he completed the house first, then moved in and begun working on his fields. 
He had to do the "first things" first.

So do we!

Preparation can make all the difference in our faith lives, as much as our earthly lives. Most of us will at least scan a recipe and glance into the pantry to see if we have the ingredients, before we start a "new to us" meal. Preparation will ensure that we don't stop mid-recipe and say, "Oh, I need some ____" and then stop; or that we don't substitute for an ingredient and get some squirrely results!

If we rush around to get everyone what they need, then flomp into the chair and open our Bible haphazardly to a text to read . . . is it any wonder that our learning from the Scriptures seems to go nowhere? 

If after a long, stressful day, we hurriedly kneel by the bed, mind racing, and mumble out a quick prayer . . . is it any wonder that it's been a while since we feel that God has spoken to us? 

Thoughtful preparation is vital. We need to approach our study and our prayer times with a measured pace -- perhaps set a time, so it becomes a routine that we can look forward to. Set the mood with peaceful thoughts, or remembering the words of a hymn that is meaningful to us. Then pray that our Father will direct our study, and speak to us through His word. Or after a time of prayerful thanksgiving, some moments of silence, letting Him direct our thoughts. 

I believe that if we put the "first things" first, and make preparations, our study time and our prayer times will become much more meaningful to us.  And I'm talking to myself, here, too! Will you try it with me?


Carrie P. said...

no, you are talking to yourself. thanks for reminding me how important is to prepare for the day.

Belinda said...

I always need to hear this. I have a real problem keeping a schedule and am haphazard about my reading/prayer time. I've never been good with scheduling things and it does make it harder to focus and really give God the time He deserves. Good post!