Implementing forced ranked priorities is one of the hardest concepts I know to actually put into practice. It is easy to understand priorities because each of us has a set buried within our hearts and minds. Ranking priorities, especially in a group setting, is straight-forward and happens easily if there are good group dynamics and trust. However, actually utilizing and setting aside all other activities to focus on the first priority is something that we do not find natural or automatic. It is so easy to rationalize how we can achieve two or more priorities, how important something other than number one is, and how much we did not know when we set the list in place.
While all our rationalization has a solid foundation in living, the problem of actually following a forced ranked priority process is clearly not new or even unique. Politicians across the ages have utilized double speak to do whatever they want whenever they want. Corporate managers quickly master the ability to say one thing while doing something totally different. Even the Angels of heaven find the task daunting.
“He [another Angel] thundered to the Four Angels assigned the task of hurting earth and sea, ‘Don’t hurt the earth! Don’t hurt the sea! Don’t so much as hurt a tree until I’ve sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!’” (Revelation 7.3)
The question that rests with each at the beginning of the day is quite simple. What are our priorities and do any take precedent?
I would gently suggest that as children of God, you and I have been called to God’s priorities. Top of the list is active, real, live compassion for the people and environment in which we live. This compassion has components of mercy, unconditional acceptance, and love in it, yet it is the execution above everything else that gives it a special place in our lives at the top of our priority list.
The task of implementing will never be easy. Every tool at our disposal and God’s power is required. Are you ready?