Where is God in Our Priorities?

By: Jill Briscoe

When I was very young, I believed that all wisdom definitely resided in my mother.  She alone was the fount of all knowledge, the safest and surest way to find the truth about my small world.  As I burst into my turbulent teens, my friends replaced her.  Together we rearranged the parental values we agreed had been laid upon us into a more comfortable place to live.

By the time college rolled around, I decided to rationalize my sin and call it growing up.  This was after a boyfriend suggested if I had never been drunk, my maturity was suspect and my education somewhat lacking!  Such maturity and knowledge went together, he insisted.

Then I became ill and was rushed to the hospital.  Here my view of what was really important was redefined in a hurry!  Life view of what was really important was redefined in a hurry!  Life and health became a sudden and vital neccessity.  These basic values were modeled by a dedicated medical staff.  Up to this point I had put no value on death whatsoever.  “Why should youth value age?”  I reasoned.

The Scriptures command us, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say,’I find no pleasure in them’” (Eccles. 12:1).  But I had never read this particular verse—and if I had, would have considered it a very upside-down way of doing things!

Facing this immediate medical crisis focused my eighteen-year-old life.  It also taught me that fears revealed my priority system.  The trivial concerns my protected environment had produced to this point in my life had to do with fears of failure—of my place on the tennis team or losing my boyfriend.  Now I realized that what I feared, I valued.  Brought face to face with death and the possibility of my personal demise, I realized the “light” priority I had placed upon life itself, my very existence as a person.  Then and only then did I begin to fear the Lord!  He, after all, was the One who held my life in His hands.

And so I came to Christ and my focus did an about—face.  My family and friends stood back in shock as I began to be involved in church, Bible studies, prayer and witnessing.  Now I was discovering that we spend our time doing the things we value most!  In other words, our activities give a clue to our value system!  This was where wisdom began for me.  Now I believed that Jesus was the point of all knowledge, His Word the explanation.  He is the truth, not a truth.  And for me, it has been so ever since.

Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.