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  • Writer's pictureSam Hamstra


Ever found yourself with more on your to do list than you have time to accomplish? Welcome to the club...

Last summer during quarantine I developed a new hobby that I have come to love...cycling! I had no idea how many beautiful, long, peaceful, trails are all over Northwest Indiana. While out on my bike, I also found it to be a great time not only for exercise but to double as a prayer time as well.

On one of my bike rides this past Fall, I was complaining to God a bit about how I was feeling. I was tired, worn out, and depleted, especially in my relationships. I felt as if I was being an average husband, average Father, average friend, and quickly irritable boss. In short, I really didn't like me or the way I was acting. While I was having my complaining session with God I felt that still small voice of The Holy Spirit come and say, "If you don't like your output change your input."

If you don't like your output change your input.

This gentle rebuke from The Lord led me on a journey to begin to look at how I was spending my time & what I was investing in. I began to study Matthew 6:33 & was asking what does it really look like to Seek The Kingdom of God above all else while remembering that if you do that God promises everything else you need you will then have. What does it look like to live a God first life?

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6:33

I find Steven Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People helpful in answering this question of what does a God first life look like. Habit number three states: put first things first. Covey says, "Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant."

"Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant." ~ Steven Covey

Meaning if you aren't purposely committing your life to important things, to your priorities, then you are accidentally committing yourself to unimportant things. In other words, you have to fight to continuously keep the main thing the main thing.

With this in mind, this is the priority list I've tried hard to implement in my life. It will vary for you depending on the stage & season of your life, but the first thing always needs to stay the first thing.

This is my first things first priority list in this order:

  1. Good son to God.

  2. Good husband to my wife.

  3. Good father to my son.

  4. Everything else.

I've grouped "everything else" into 3 categories:

  1. Work

  2. Relationships - family & friends

  3. Church - not my work at and for the church but being a part of the church which for me is committing to and being a part of a discipleship group & serving through the church.

I have found when I get this order right everything else seems to work out right.

How about you? Do you find yourself consistently short on time & focused on the urgent over the important? Check your priority list & make a decision to keep first things first!


Keeping your priorities in order has a lot to do with a word called discipline. Check out a recent post about how to continue growing in your discipline HERE!


Sam Hamstra
Sam Hamstra
Feb 18, 2021

Love it Lisa! AMEN!!


Lisa J Brandau
Lisa J Brandau
Feb 18, 2021

What a great message! I followed Steven Covey for a very long time, & your perspective this morning was a lightbulb for me - why in the world did I let that system go?! It worked so well in helping me to keep my priorities where they needed to be. Thanks for the words & the nudge, Pastor Sam. Mr. Covey - & JESUS ... I'm coming back to putting first things, the MOST important things, FIRST!!!

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