First Things First

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

The first lesson of life is to know what comes first in life. The problems of life occur when we put second things first and first things second. Misappropriated priorities create havoc with life.

Al Uhalt of Colorado Springs almost lost his life when he forgot what to do first. He is a retired Air Force colonel and has decades of experience as a flight instructor. When giving a flying lesson last week he forgot about the first lesson. He didn’t check the gas gauge!

There are a lot of important aspects to teaching a student to fly – the first lesson ought to be to check the gas gauge. Al had a student flying with him. They ran out of fuel near the end of the 45-minute lesson. Al miraculously was able to bring the single engine Aviat Husky to a bumpy but safe landing in a field.

You can imagine how embarrassed Uhalt is. He is the instructor!

Checking the gas gauge first is very important in life. To get ready to cut the grass, it is good to know how much gas is in the lawn mower. If you run out of gas, it’s not detrimental but it is annoying. When you get in the car, check the gas gauge. If you run out of gas in a car, it probably won’t be a life/death experience, but it does cause a lot of inconvenience. But when you get in an airplane – it is a matter of life and death – not inconvenience or annoyance.

Jesus said that the first life lesson is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. The second life lesson falls in line with that as we love our neighbors as ourselves. Now missing some lessons might just be an inconvenience or annoyance. Missing the number one life lesson is a matter of life and death – now and forever.

I know Al Uhalt was probably busy and anxious to teach the lesson. I know most of us stay very busy in today’s world. We have got a lot to do. It is easy to overlook the importance of the most important thing – checking the gas gauge. In life it is easy to unintentionally sacrifice the most important thing for merely helpful and beneficial things.

I am going to check my priorities. I don’t want to give primary attention to secondary priorities. I must constantly look at my life to be sure that my first priority is loving God with everything I have. Everything else comes secondary.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing – whether you are talking about flying or living.

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