"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities."
Moses was given ten great commandments, and the very first on that list was, "Thou shalt have no other God's before me." (Exo. 20:3)
not even #1.5
Now for me, I have often felt like well duh? Of course we won't have any Gods before him, he is our Heavenly Father. I don't know many of us that are out worshiping physical idols in the most direct sense of the word, but over the past little bit I have learned that I have been a culprit of this exact sin in my life.
What do you do when God gives you an insane amount of passion for something and a few of the skills to pursue it?
This is talking to each and every one of us. God gave each of us talents to develop and has an instilled a love and a desire to improve and create within those skills.
Unfortunately though, if you are a young Haley Hilton you take that small amount of skill and that dangerous amount of passion and you exploit it. You allow it to completely consume you.
You let it be all that matters.
It goes before friends, before relationships, before health, before school, and without even realizing it, it has come before God.
What a frustrating battle we can so easily and embarrassingly find ourselves entangled in? The battle between doing what we love, and not letting ourselves love it more than God.
That right there is the danger zone.
Because how do we know when we are putting too much focus on our passion?
When have we crossed the line?
1. We care more about what the world thinks of us in this endeavor than what the Lord thinks of us.
2. We allow this passion to take up time that was set in place for serving the Lord and developing our spiritual selves.
3. Our intention in developing our talent has more to do with our ego than with sharing our testimonies.
Even while having completely good intentions, we can find ourselves caught in one or more of these three points all too easily.
Now none of this is not to say that we shouldn't pursue dreams and passions, that wouldn't make a lot of sense seeing as God himself gave us these talents, but it is all in moderation. This moderation is decided first and foremost in our intentions.
Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
Why are we pursuing these dreams? Is my first intention to share my testimony through them? Then perhaps I aught to work on how I can best have that desire to be first in my heart.
Through my illness I have learned that I can go nearly two years without dance, but I cannot go ten seconds without God. We need him, and through him he can help our dreams come true if they are for our ultimate benefit.
"The breadth, depth, and height of this love of God extend into every facet of one’s life. Our desires, be they spiritual or temporal, should be rooted in a love of the Lord. Our thoughts and affections should be centered on the Lord. “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord,” said Alma, “yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever” (Alma 37:36)."
-President Ezra Taft Benson
I am overwhelmed with gratitude today for the blessings of a loving Heavenly Father. He knows me and he knows what I need in order to grow and progress in this life. I am grateful that he has taken the time to carve out a holding place in my heart to keep this lesson in. I am grateful he wanted me to understand what is most important to him and what I should strive to make most important to me.
I am grateful for dance. I am grateful that God has given me something to love so dearly. I am grateful that he has taught me what I really dance for even while I couldn't dance.
Mostly though I am grateful the Lord has taken the time to teach me what dance isn't. And that is that dance isn't more important than God, it isn't more important, than faith, and it isn't more important than people.
It really is a wonderful world ladies and gents.
I am not sure what we all did to get so blessed, but I love my Father in Heaven for it.
Stay tuned for your silver lining.