Setting Priorities

tree-pruning

Set your affections on things above, no on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

I view my life as a tree. The trunk represents my relationship to Christ, the limbs represent major areas of God-given responsibility such as family, job, ministry and personal development; and the branches represent the activities and opportunities of life. Even without special care, activity branches multiply. Soon the profusion of branches becomes more prominent than the trunk and limbs. When this happens, I feel trapped, frustrated, and empty. Why? Because my life is shaped and drained by activities that have lost their pertinence to Christ.

For example, the activities expected of a mother multiply conspiratorially; supervising a school field trip, organizing a car pool for soccer games, baking for the forth grade bake sale, helping a child with fractions.

To “sacrifice” for my family is sincere veneer that wears thin in time. I must go beyond defining life by activities. I must focus not on the branches, but on the trunk and limbs. I do what I do because of Jesus and His claim on my life. I don’t do what I don’t do for the same reason.

On a finely pruned tree, the trunk and limbs are prominent. The limbs grow out of my relationship with Christ and sprout many new branches each year. I must examine my tree and determine which branches need to be pruned back or hacked off at the base. Life is always changing. My tree must undergo changes, too.

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