Unfading Beauty and Strength

Christian Encouragement and Practical Tips for Ordinary Women

Inside: How to Put God First in Your Life: A Short and Powerful Lesson Learned from Letting Go of the Trash

How to Put God First In Your Life
How to Put God First in Your Life

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And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1: 17 (ESV)

During my twenty-minute walk to work, my heart would beat 200 times a minute, my palms would sweat, and I would mutter prayers to not kill my patients.

My first job, as a nurse, was in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, otherwise known as the NSICU. Sounds intense, right?

And it was.

I combatted my fear by praying, reading, and studying neuroscience books. ALOT!

On my off days, you could find me at a local coffee shop with my nose in textbooks, sipping my hot coffee until it became an iced coffee.

All those things did help calm my anxiety. (My heart would only beat 150 times a minute after a few months of starting this job.)

How to Put God First in Your LIfe
Many days I just wanted to
put my head in the sand.

But I was missing the most important lesson.

You see, instead of focusing on my patient, I spent my time cleaning my work area. I suppose I thought it would alleviate my anxiety.

And while a clean workspace is helpful, in my case, all the accumulated trash from opening medicine bottles, IV bags, and cookie wrappers distracted me from the most important matter at hand:

My patient.

Then, my mentor gave me an unintended gift I never forgot.

At one point during my orientation, she seized my hands. I was startled, but it had a gripping and lasting impression. (pun intended)

She grasped my hands in a loving, but urgent manner and said seven simple words:

LET IT GO. The trash can wait.

While I still prefer organization in both my work and home life, (Though my home wouldn’t be a great witness to this virtue) I have learned to let the trash go.

In the same way, How many times does Jesus have to grab our hands and hearts?

We have to learn to let go of the trash and put God first in our lives.

Not that all the little daily tasks don’t matter, they just don’t matter first.

The funny thing is when we stop our incessant organization and control and just let go, we find so much more freedom.

The freedom that only comes from God our Father.

Life is about so much more than the million little things:

  • The laundry can wait, your child’s tears cannot.
  • The dishes can wait, bedtime prayers and snuggles cannot.
  • And the trash can wait, but listening to alarms from my patient’s room cannot.

All those little things that we think matter will fall away or ironically they get done anyway.

Let’s stop focusig so much on the urgent tasks distracting us and focus on the most important matter at hand.

Our God.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)

So I ask you today as I continue to ask myself, Are you willing to let the trash go?

Its time to LET IT GO. Let the trash go. And the rest will follow.

For our God, HE holds all things together.

Related: 20 Practical and Ordinary Ways to Worship God Everyday

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