From the Pastor’s Desk – June 2015

By Pastor Mark Combs

It might be because of the age of my children, but lately I have been paying a great deal of attention to we as a society prioritize our lives. Think about how you organize your days. If you have children in school, you already know that the school schedule has priority – nothing is allowed to interfere with that schedule, even the last minute changes that we must accommodate. If your children play sports, then you know that the sports practice and game schedule is what comes in second. Anything after that is up in the air and subject to change based on the schedules of school and sports.

My question for us is how did it become this way? I realize that our world is different compared to how things worked when we were growing up. I remember when the Blue Laws were repealed in West Virginia. I know that it has not been that long ago when schools did not schedule anything on Wednesday evenings because that was church night. But this is not just a church thing. I have watched as Boy Scout things have been rescheduled for our boys because of other scout’s sports schedules. How did it become this way, and how are we supposed to handle ourselves in the face of this pressure?

The answer, I believe, challenges us to look at our own priorities. I am sure you all remember Jesus saying, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Think about how protective we are about how we spend our time in this world. In many ways, I think we are more guarded about our time than we are about our money. When placed in that perspective, what does that say about our priorities?

What are we to do? On the one hand, I know as your Pastor, how much it would help us to make worship a priority in our lives. I also know, as a parent, how much priority we have to place on our families. I can’t answer for you. How you set your own priorities is your decision, but I think we make much better decisions when we think them through ahead of time and not at the whim of the latest pressure from society.

Please don’t misunderstand, these are not questions about our salvation, in the short term. We are not working our way to heaven by choosing church over whatever else. However, when we continue to choose everything else over our relationship with God, then we find ourselves in trouble because we have cut off our connection with the source of life and wholeness.

I hope and pray that as we face the challenges of prioritizing our lives in this world that we will all remember that God has made us a priority. Until next time.

I hope to see you in church!