First Come, First Served? Part 3 of 4

Subtitle: A reflection for the 6th day of the Christmas season


If innkeepers and emperors are apt metaphors for us, descriptive of aspects of our lives, then a fundamental question arises. Do the things that we let into our lives and count as valuable mirror who we are? By “who we are,” I’m thinking of our destinies and legacies.

Destiny. Are we becoming the people we believe we were born to be?

Legacy. Will we leave a life’s record of having been true to ourselves and to others?

Stated another way, is there a match between what we let into our lives and count as significant and ourselves, our souls?

Ideally, I think, we would want that to be so. Harmony between our being and our beliefs and between our beliefs and our behavior are quintessential marks of personal authenticity and integrity.

However, speaking always and only for myself, in my life, I know that sometimes this just isn’t so. For sometimes I choose wrongly and count badly. What I let in and what I claim as significant are not in accord with who I am.

In fairness to myself, often enough, in the pressured, split-second timing of daily living, I simply deal with whatever or whoever comes first. And sometimes the most urgent thing is not the most important thing. Moreover, sometimes what separates an urgent thing from an important thing is only a slight (thus, in the instant moment, hard to discern) difference in the shade of significance.

In any case, I am trapped in a tension: I want to dwell on what matters, yet I must deal with what’s at hand. To wit, the daily task of living, in its manifold manifestations, can prevent my necessary engagement with God in prayer and contemplation or postpone the pursuit of a long-sought dream or calling. I want to focus on what matters most, but I have to face what comes up now and next. And then, like an innkeeper, who, following the rule of first come, first served, I have no room. Caught in the clutches of circumstance, I lose my power to choose.

Once again, though taking caution not to suppose that my self-observations are applicable to all people, I have a hunch that at least some of my life’s experience is similar to that of others.

More to come, in conclusion…

© 2020 PRA

2 thoughts on “First Come, First Served? Part 3 of 4

  1. Paul,
    One of the things I am hoping for in 2021 is to choose more wisely. I always seem to choose the wrong thing too!! I let the wrong people in at times which has never been good for my soul. At least I have taken lots of time to enhance my relationship with God in 2020 so I did choose that wisely. Here’s the better choices in 2021.


  2. Wisdom. Yes, Loretta, the wisdom manifested in the deepening of one’s (your!) relationship with God, I believe, is of the highest order. May that be and remain true for us all.

    Love and continued blessings I bid for you that you may…will continue to be a blessing to others in 2021.


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