I was working in the kitchen this afternoon with my daughters, putting together an apple bread for breakfast tomorrow. The recipe required us to think ahead—setting out several ingredients beforehand to bring them to room temperature. We had to measure and mix lots of ingredients and carefully peel and chop some apples we had recently picked.
While I peeled the apples, I started to think about the many steps involved and the time spent on just one loaf of bread. If my family didn’t love eating it, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. It would have been a lot quicker to pour everyone a bowl of cereal in the morning and get on with our day. But I chose to bake the bread because it brings my family joy and it fills their bellies with a tasty meal. Making homemade baked goods and cooking healthy meals for my family is important to me. It’s one way that I show my love.
All of this got me thinking—what else is important to me? Where else am I putting my time and effort? I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions. Your answers might be family, friends, your job, your home, the garden, a hobby.
If you’re really honest, some of the answers might surprise you. If you never miss a game and schedule everything around the season of a specific team or sport, that’s probably very important to you. If you put a lot of money, time, and effort into your appearance, that’s probably a priority. Sports and our physical appearance aren’t bad things, in fact they can be very good, they just need to be ordered properly in our lives. And without us even realizing it, our priorities can become disordered when we place them above other things that should be more important.
The biggest question we should ask ourselves is this: where does God fit into my list of priorities? We might say that God is number one. But is He really? Does He get priority over every other thing in your life? Does He get the most and the best of your time, effort, talents and blessings? Or, perhaps is He getting what is left over after a long day?
This isn’t to say that practicing our faith and cultivating a relationship with God is an excuse to abandon all other responsibilities. God wants you to care for your family, to keep your home clean and maintained, and to work hard. But if God is our priority, everything we do can become a prayer. Everything can be done to the best of our ability, to serve and love those around us, and offered to Him.
If you don’t already, consider beginning each day with a morning offering. It’s a simple way to remind yourself that every moment of your day—your prayers, works, joys, and sufferings—can be offered to God.
If He is as important as we say He is, then let’s give Him our best. Not a perfect life, but a life that in all of its brokenness and messiness and chaos is always offered to Him.
“Wash the plate not because it is dirty, nor because you are told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta