First Things First

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
-Matthew 6:33, NLT

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? If you are like most of us, it is reach for your phone. It’s is such a hard habit to break. We are attached to our smart devices like another body limb. For some of us, reaching for the phone has become as automatic as breathing. We do it without thinking about it. The next thing we know, 30 minutes or more have passed, and we are on our 10th cat video or news update. 

While the cat videos help smile, minute-by-minute news updates usually just increase anxiety. Anxiety is antithetical to what Jesus desires from us. Jesus tells us several times not to worry. In order to not worry, we must focus our eyes on first things first.

In her book, It’s About Time: The Art of Choosing the Meaningful over the Urgent, author and coach, Valorie Burton talks about phone space.

She says “research shows that our phones are less than arm’s length away from us 90% of the day. To practice phone space simply means keeping your phone somewhere that is more than an arm’s length away from you in order to keep you from being constantly distracted by your phone.”

Her advice connects with Matthew 6:33, which states, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Notice the immediate benefit of putting God first. The result is that God will give you everything that you need. 

Burton says that we must be intentional in choosing what is meaningful over what is urgent by living in the present moment, breathing and being fully present with what is in front of you. 

First thing in the morning, God is already there and is waiting for just a bit of time with us. God wants us to share our first moments with him, to bask in the beauty of his presence. God wants us to be fully present with him so that we can be fully present for all else that truly matters. 

So, let’s challenge ourselves this week to practice phone space and making spending time in God’s presence the first thing we do.