Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first and we lose both first and second things. -C.S Lewis
This is one of my favorite quotes. As one who is all about living out values, both personally and professionally I try to emphasize the importance of keeping our first things first.
But the reality is that I have all kinds of ideas and projects on hold, for work and for life. And like 15 draft blog posts that are still drafts because I have gotten stuck on not only second things or third things but like 7th kinds of things like blog stats and analytics, platform, keywords and graphics, likes and comments and it’s made me hold back from sharing because I can’t get past all of the “stuff”.
The second, third and fourth kinds of things can be sneaky. . . .
Over the weekend I was able to watch the If Gathering via their live stream. If you have never heard of IF before I highly recommend you head over to the site after reading this, it’s a great ministry. Anyway, although all of the messages were really excellent, there were two that stood out to me the most. The first was Jennie Allen’s message. Jennie is an author and the founder of IF and she always inspires me with her words. In this case they were just what my soul needed to hear. She also shared the same C.S. Lewis quote which I felt confirmed so much of what I had been thinking. (God’s really good that doing that kind of thing.)
She reminded us that “God moves through regular humble people who pray” and of the value of small, simple, discipleship. Discipleship as part of my faith is one of my first things yet I’ve put it on hold because I just couldn’t seem to get it “just right.”
Jennie shared that she fears that real life discipleship is going away because 1) we have traded BEING with Jesus for doing things for Jesus 2) we are trying to go big when Jesus calls us to go small.
I’ve been guilty of both.
I DO the stuff and I’ve focused on the big and in doing so have neglected being faithful in the small.
Jill Briscoe, an amazing woman and teacher who is in her 80s delivered the second message that rocked my socks. She shared her story of faith and discipleship and the importance of remembering that our mission field is the space between our two feet. She says,
You go where you’re sent and you stay where you’re put and give what you’ve got.
Today I met with a new friend for lunch. Across the table we shared a meal, and talked about dreams and fears. We encouraged each other and reminded one another of God’s faithfulness. Real life discipleship. No photos of our food, no selfies, just connection.
Living out our first things.
I believe my mission field is not only where my feet are planted but also my tiny corner of the internet. I value you all so much dear readers and pray that my words might encourage you. But keeping my first things first means that you’ll read imperfect posts, usually without perfect pin-worthy images. Because I’m just not worrying about all of the second, third or fourth things right now.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing about what it looks like for me to live out my first things, and I’ll be inviting you to join me. Because even if I can’t meet with you in person, I want to hear about your first things and what it looks like for you to keep them first.
Let’s live this out together.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33