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Pastor Mike Cuccia

Have you ever had one of those life-changing moments that was so overwhelming you couldn’t even comprehend making it through?  As a student in Respiratory Therapy School, I had one of those moments.  One day I was assigned to the Emergency Room when a man who had sustained multiple life-threatening wounds was rushed in.  He was bleeding profusely from his head and neck area, had multiple broken bones piercing through the skin, and was barely breathing.  Since I had very little knowledge about ER life-saving skills, my first thought was to “stop the bleeding”. However, I was uncertain which laceration to address first. Upon closer observation, I quickly realized there were more cuts than I had hands to apply pressure to and if I were to proceed with this plan, the patient’s life would have still been in danger. Next, I thought I should address his broken bones and try to put them back in place. But pushing a bone back into a place where you think it belongs could be dangerous, not to mention more painful to the patient.  I was young and naive to the priorities of life-saving skills of the medical profession. Thankfully, the ER physician knew exactly what to do and he led the way by making a few important decisions that ultimately saved the patient’s life.

Once the doctor communicated the game plan, the team moved quickly into place and went to work.  I was amazed that in the midst of all this chaos, confusion, and options of how to treat the patient the physician knew exactly what to do in order to save the life of the person lying before me.

After things calmed down, I asked him how he knew which issue to address first. He answered, “Simple; it’s A.B.C. Airway-Breathing-Circulation. Without an open airway no one can breathe and without the heart circulating blood, no one can get oxygen delivered to their tissues and organs.  No matter what type of injury or the severity of the patient’s condition, if you adhere to these priorities, you will save a life!”

Wow!  For me that was also a great lesson on time prioritization.  Even in this fast-paced life that seems to be filled with so many responsibilities and issues screaming for our attention, there is a way to assess the time priorities of life.  Much like the ER physician explained the A.B.C.’s for all life support, the Bible gives us the A.B.C’s for time prioritization.

A: ABIDE in ChristJohn 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Everyday we face responsibilities and tasks that are unavoidable and require our attention. Regardless of the responsibilities we have, there is nothing more important than abiding in a life-giving relationship with our Lord. Our foundation for how we prioritize our time begins with abiding in Him.

B: BUILD your Life – Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”

The quality of material we decide to build with determines the quality of life we enjoy.  A house is designed to provide safety and security from inclement weather, harsh winds and heavy rains.  Therefore, it would be irresponsible as a homeowner to use inferior material. Building our lives is no different. According to Jesus, when our lives are built with the time-tested, pressure-treated materials of the Word of God, even when the pressure of life is exerted upon us, we will not collapse.  God’s Word is what builds us and sustains us! As we build our lives on these eternal things, we will make an impact on this generation and generations to come!

C: COMMITT to the visionHabakkuk 2:2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

Writing our priorities is an exercise that will help us eliminate unnecessary distractions and help us to draw closer to the vision. There will always be distractions in our lives. However, having a written commitment will cause us to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Our priorities in life may change from time to time, but our main focus in life never changes.  Perhaps we will experience a new job, professional position, or the birth of a child into our family. These may change what the priorities are in life, but they do not change the fact we must abide in Christ.

Answer the following 3 questions to help assess how well you prioritize your time:

·       Am I abiding in a life-giving relationship with Jesus?

·       Am I building with the right material in my life?

·       What is God’s vision for my life?  Am I committed to His vision?

What decisions can I make today that reflect the A.B.C.’s of time prioritization?