Herald Journal Columns
Oct. 6, 2003 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Who has top priority in your life? Is it God or material things?

By Scott Yates, Howard Lake Christian Church, Howard Lake

There is as story of a girl who wanted more than anything to become a cheerleader. It had been her dream since she was a kid.

As a young girl, she would watch the cheerleaders perform at games and competitions. She knew every cheer by heart and would perform from the sidelines at every game.

When she reached high school she was the first one in line for tryouts. She lived in a larger school, and really didn't expect to make the team her freshman year.

However she was still crushed when she didn't. Again her sophomore year she missed the cut. But her junior year she was a sure pick.

The day after tryouts she received a call from the cheerleading coach letting her know that she had made the team.

She was so excited. Immediately she called her youth minister who had been praying for her, to share the excitement. They talked to the longest time, praying, crying and laughing together. Her dreams had finally come true.

The following Monday she received the cheerleader's practice schedule and noticed that there was a one hour practice on Wednesday night. This was a problem because her church had youth group on Wednesday nights and as a leader of the youth group she was expected to be there.

She knew, however, that her cheer coach wouldn't understand her going to church instead of cheer practice. She fretted the decision up to the very night. She knew what she had to do, so after school she left a letter for the coach that she wouldn't be at practice and was very sorry.

Thursday morning came and her cheer coach met her by her locker. The coach was worried about the girl, thinking she may have been sick or some sort of emergency had come up. So she asked the girl if everything was OK.

The girl assured her that everything was OK and that she was really sorry about missing practice. She went on to explain that she wouldn't ever be able to make it to a Wednesday night practice because of her church commitment.

The coach seemed to understand, and they both went on their way.

The following Monday she received the practice schedule for the following week. Looking over the schedule her heart sank as she noticed a lengthy practice scheduled for Wednesday night marked 'important.'

Again she was faced with the decision, and again she knew what she had to do. That Wednesday she went to youth group.

The following morning she didn't want to go to school. She tried to fake sick, but her mother wouldn't let her. At school she ducked in and out of the hall, trying to avoid anyone who had anything to do with cheerleading.

This is not how she imagined being a cheerleader would be. At lunch she sat with some of her friends, but she didn't feel like eating. She only sat there staring at her food.

At one instance she happened to look up and noticed that the entire cheerleading squad was entering the cafeteria and heading in her direction. She sank low, but it didn't matter.

The team came up to her and in front of all her friends and the entire school began to tell her how terrible she was and how badly she had let the team down. One by one they took turns accusing her and tears began to stream down her face.

Finally the coach herself spoke up, letting everyone there know that she was a disgrace to the team and was no longer a cheerleader. The coach then asked if she had anything to say. The girl then stood in front of all her friends and the cheerleaders.

With tears streaming down the face she explained, "I'm sorry you feel like I've let you down. There is nothing than I want more in life than to be a cheerleader. But you have to understand something. You all see me as a cheerleader who happens to be a Christian. But you're wrong. You see, I'm a Christian who happens to be a cheerleader."

Everyday we are faced with the decision of what will be our priority. Is it work, power, money, friends, school, family, etc. or is it Christ?

In Exodus 20, Moses records the 10 commandments. The first of which are, "You shall have no other gods before Me. . . You shall not worship them or serve them; I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments."

What holds priority in your life? Is it Christ?

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