Herald Journal Columns
Feb 2, 2004 Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Seek to make God the true priority in a busy world

By Rev. Elizabeth Hadler, Montrose United Methodist Church

I have been an avid jogger and exercise "freak" for many years. But about 14 years ago, it nearly did me in.

Gary and I had been married for less than a year and were both working several different jobs to make ends meet while going to school. One of my jobs was as a graduate assistant coach for the University of Missouri-Rolla softball team, which I really loved.

That spring of '89 the softball team had a tournament in Pensacola, Fla. over spring break, and I was excited. We left on a Friday evening and drove all night, arriving around 7 a.m. Saturday.

After checking into our hotel, I decided to go for my daily jog, even though I had driven most of the night and had slept very little. I figured I would go for a four- to five-mile jog, then go to bed.

I had jogged for about 15 minutes when I felt myself getting sick and starting to hallucinate. Next thing I knew, everything was black.

When I woke up, several doctors, nurses, the head softball coach, and a nun were standing over me, and the back of my head was throbbing.

I was later informed that I had passed out along the side of the road, cracking the back of my head on the concrete. I had been jogging on a fairly busy road, but no one seemed to know who had helped me or who had called an ambulance.

Ever since, I have wondered who the "good Samaritan" was that saved me, a stranger. I realize how close I came to being left there to bleed to death, or to be run over ­ not a pleasant thought.

Reality also hit that I was totally worn out ­ not because I had lost a night's sleep, but because I was trying to do way too much, and so was Gary.

As much as I hated to admit it, I had to simplify my life, re-prioritize, and make sure I allowed time for myself, for Gary, and most importantly, for God. Sure, we needed jobs to make ends meet, but there were better ways, and I, especially, had to make better and wiser decisions.

Honestly, I am sort of embarrassed to share this story, because it seems pretty senseless now. But this experience was definitely a growing and learning experience for me.

We live in a busy world, and our individual lives are also very busy. In fact, if we are not careful, we can allow our lives to get so busy that we can physically or emotionally collapse.

We each need to ask ourselves, "What is my primary focus in life?" The answer possibly seems simple, but is it truthful?

May God truly be the focus in our lives. May we always realize that God is forever with us, never abandons us, and loves us always.

Feb. 25 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. What better time than this season to focus on God's presence in our lives and truly encounter Christ as we walk with Him to the cross and to the empty tomb.

Let's all seek to make God the true priority in our lives, no matter how busy our world seems.


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