Monday, February 2, 2015

The proper order of priorities

I think it was about ten years ago that I had this really neat discussion with one of my patients about priorities.  In fact, what she said was so significant to me, that I shared it with the priest who was going to marry me and my wife, and he used it as part of our wedding sermon.
What she said was this: "In life, if you don't have your priorities straight, nothing ever works out. If you you do not have your priorities straight, you will not succeed in your life."

She put her thumb up. "This is God. He is your number one priority."

She then put her pointer finger up. "This pointer finger represents your wife."

She held up her middle finger up. This finger represents your children."

She held up her ring finger.  "This represents other people."

She held up her pinky finger.  "This represents other things."

"Now," she continued, "If you get these priorities out of place, nothing seems to work properly." 

She demonstrated this by placing her thumb between her pointer and ring finger. Then she made as to grab something, and could not do it.  "See," she said, "your hand does not work right when your fingers are out of order.  The same is true when your priorities are out of order.  If you place God after your wife and before your children, you can't grip anything.  Life simply doesn't work; it's all a mess." 

She placed her thumb between the middle finger and ring finger. "If you place your thumb here, you still can't get a grip on anything. "See!" She opened up her hand, and gripped mine with hers, "the only way you can really grip things, have control of the things in your life, is to put your thumb before your other fingers. God, in essence, is like your thumb. If you have no God in your life, nothing works right."

She smiled, and continued: "The same is true if you get other things in your life out of proper order. You must love your wife before your children, and love your children before other people. But you must always put other people before other things."

Not only did my priest use this during our wedding ceremony, he also used it during mass that week.  He said he was very impressed.  

So, that in mind, I thought I would take the time to list the priorities in my life. Perhaps you might do the same -- just for fun.
  1. God 
  2. Wife
  3. Children
  4. Brothers, Relatives, Friends and Co-workers
  5. The United States
  6. Job
  7. Home
  8. Sleep
  9. Reading, Learning, and Stimulating Brain
  10. Sports
  11. Blogging
  12. Other things
I suppose I was thinking of such priorities when I gave up golf and collecting baseball cards in order to provide for my new family.  I would, however, love to start doing both again, however.