On my dresser in my bedroom is a little 3x5 card from my six year old that reads, "Dear Daddy, I love you. I miss you. Are you coming home tonight? When are you coming home tonight? I'm ready to play." While she can read, those words were penned by my wife so that I could actually read the note! While cute, this is actually a very sobering reminder to me every day that it's really important I live by this principle of, "Make the first things first." Or, simply put, make sure the main things in life are the main things.
Many people give "lip service" to what's really important to them but their verbal communication is not an accurate story teller. How a person spends their time really reveals what is truly important to them. I'm reminded of what I often say, "You do and say what you really believe." Time is the more accurate story teller. If my family is truly number one on my list of most important things in life, my time with them will be the evidence of how truthful I am about this.
With teens, this principle is no different. I remember a "speech" I gave my sophomore basketball players one morning as a small number of them "forgot" about the weight lifting practice the day before. I reminded them we don't forget about those things that are important to us.
The challenge for teens is establishing disciplines and habits that truly reflect what is really important. Researchers say habits can be created in a small amount of time, a few weeks even. This principle of keeping first things first challenges teens to evaluate, "What is really important in those teen years?" Before you give lip service like so many do, take inventory. Where do you spend the majority of your time? If it doesn't line up with what you think should be most important, changes are needed.
Finding teens who truly live by principles and plan their weeks around what is truly important are not easily found. Take the challenge. MAKE first things first in your life!