“What are the three things that only you can do?”
The question slid so smoothly into my consciousness that I can’t remember now if I first heard it just this weekend; or perhaps it never received voice this weekend at all, just so wildly appropriate that it framed my response to the many nuggets of application clamoring for dominance.
I hold a mental snapshot answer to this question on priorities, from the camera’s perspective. Three grinning, sticky faces jostle one another in the foreground as they peer directly into the lens: my children.
At 2, 6, and 9, they represent the number one project that only I can handle. They need me to provide meals, clean clothing, and a home environment that nurtures them. They need discipleship in the faith they have chosen.
A personal chef and a housekeeper illustrate the point that these responsibilities, while mine, could be delegated. Even their education could be delegated to a home tutor if I chose. And believe me, I reserve the right to do so at whatever time it becomes necessary. But today, this month, for the foreseeable future; this entire job remains not just my responsibility, but my largest task. Only I can play with them. Only I can shepherd them to adulthood. Only I can be be their mom.
Beyond the faces monopolizing the foreground of my snapshot, I see the sanctuary of my local church. In that sacred place sit hundreds of believers with all backgrounds, with a hunger to know God more intimately. And of the people in that community, God has chosen to impress on my heart the urgency of providing more venues for them to know Him more, through foundation building.
Over the coming months, I am honored, permitted, and responsible to develop a series of workshops, to help these hungry believers go deeper into the Christian life. The messages welling up within me can find outlet in the venue of my local church; and I sense my path moving that direction. This fulfills me.
My snapshot answer to the question, “What are the three things only you can do?” has one more element, beyond the children and the sanctuary. Far in the distance, still in view, I see a torrent, falling off the edge of the world. As I grow my own roots deep in order to pour God’s living water out on my kids and in my local church, I see that water overflow beyond my small sphere and reach a more distant audience.
Writing God’s message. Blogging, networking, freelancing, e-publishing to share living water. Someday, those sticky faces smudging the lens will be grown and need me less. Someday, my local church may move more into the foreground, bringing that far distant torrent closer in focus as well.
Today, I have small bits of this already available to me, for which I am grateful. I still have this job, which only I can do: I speak of my own journey, from my perspective; and attempt to find the universal truth to share with another.
The many lessons I collected this weekend seem packaged with laser precision. This one, my Three Things Snapshot, gives me a bit of relief as I settle into the confirmation that the kids come first. The message welling from within me will find voice beyond them, as it overflows. But the message starts with them.
Life seems so simple when priorities emerge clear and measurable. I feel the peace of a well-organized priority list tonight.
What are your Three Things right now?