When I first thought about this topic to write on, I felt a little overwhelmed and inadequate to write something that I know so little about. I thought about the idea of putting our Creator first. I am a pretty stubborn and independent person. Just to give you a few examples: I broke my foot about 6 months ago, and the doctor said I wouldn’t be able to run again for 6-8 to weeks. I was back running on my foot in 3 weeks. I will go in an hour early and stay an hour late at work instead of delegating and letting people help me. I hardly ever ask for help unless it’s for directions.
But there is one person in my life that it’s never been hard to ask for help. That’s my Dad. Growing up we were not wealthy, and so my dad would take us hiking or to the park for entertainment. On every hiking trip, he would try and teach us a valuable lesson. I remember on one particular hiking trip, my dad, siblings, and I were exploring a new trail. The trail was parallel to a creek. We noticed a waterfall at the top of the creek, but we had to boulder-hop through the creek in order to get to the waterfall. The creek, when we first started on the trail, was slow-moving and easy to cross, but as we approached the waterfall the stream went from being narrow and calm to wide and violent. If we fell in, it could be very dangerous and we could be potentially swept under water.
My brother and sister were more fearless than I, and were able to jump easily from one boulder to the other with much ease. I, on the other hand, was more cautious, and instead of jumping I would crawl from one rock to the other. Until I came to one spot where the next boulder was too far away for me to move on hands and knees. I was quickly being left behind, because I was unable to get across. I called out to my dad in tears because I was too scared to jump. I wanted to get across and catch up with my sister and brother, but because of my fear to jump I was being left behind. My Dad quickly came back and stood on the rock that I needed to jump to. He then proceeded to tell me, “Sam, all you need to do is jump, and I will catch you.” I looked at the rushing water underneath, violently gushing past me, and imagined myself being swept away. “Dad, I can’t do it.” I exclaimed. “I’m too scared. What if I fall and get swept away?” My Dad then reached out his hand and promised he wouldn’t let that happen. “Ok, Sam, on the count of the three you have to do exactly what I say.” He then explained how I should jump, where I should land, and then how to trust him to catch me. I’ll never forget that moment when he started to count to three. Doubts, fears, and anxiety all swirled within my stomach. But as I looked at my Dad’s outstretched hand, a bigger part of me knew he would catch me.
In life we can find ourselves stuck, unable to move from one place to the other because we feel scared, have anxiety, or are unable to accept help offered by another.
I always thought putting our Creator first meant huge sacrifices. If I put our Creator first, wouldn’t I be a full-time volunteer? Find the cure to cancer? Become the next Mother Teresa?
I then realized that putting our Creator first meant asking for his guidance, trusting him, and grabbing hold to his out-stretched hand. That when the stream of our lives are narrow and calm or wide and violent, we will think of him.
That we will think of him when we witness a beautiful sunrise.
That we will think of him when we are lonely and struggling with life’s obstacles.
That we will think of him when a loved one passes away.
When a soldier is wounded
That we will think of him when we see a baby being born.
When a new father holds his first child.
A toddler taking his first steps.
That you will think of him when a couple struggles to have children.
During a horrible car crash or when we see a homeless person.
That will we will think of him when we see a runner finish a marathon or when we visit someone in the hospital.
That we will think of him when we see a child fighting cancer or when a farmer receives rain after a drought.
Putting our Creator first to me means that he is our constant companion. That he is our voice of reason and our anchor. That he is the witness to our lives. Some of us may ask Heavenly Father what brand of toothpaste we should use. Others of us we may only ask for guidance for bigger decisions in life. Who should we marry? Should I relocate? But each relationship with our Father in Heaven is unique and just as important as the other.
There will be moments that the waters of life are calm, and you are able to move easily from one stepping-stone to the other without aid or guidance. But there will be plenty of moments in your life where you will find yourself stuck on a boulder. Where you will watch the violent waters of the world surround you and you will be too scared to leap. You will find yourself struggling with the idea that you can do this all on your own.
I have had many moments where I have been humbled, and I cry out to my father and plead for help because the obstacle is to great to do alone. Always, with an outstretched hand, he shows me the safe way to cross, that all I have to do is count to three and leap, trusting that he will catch me.
“Think of me,” is all he asks of us. When we put our Creator first, all other things will fall into their proper place. Always do what the he asks of us. Continue on the path that he has marked for us.