Priorities

Here’s another Gene Stallings story.  Apologies if this offends any Auburn people out there.

Coach Stallings took his national championship team to the White House, as is customary.  (Or used to be, anyway.  Crazy world.)  Anyway, President Bill Clinton was late arriving, as was customary.  After the team had waited a half-hour or so, a Secret Service agent came over to say the president was tied up visiting with some ambassador.  (Or maybe it was Monica Lewinsky — who’s to say after all this time?)  Coach Stallings responded, “You tell the president he’s got ten minutes to come out here, and if he’s not here in ten minutes I’m taking this football team back to Alabama.”

“Are you serious?” the agent asked, to which Stallings said, “Well, I am, except now you’ve just got nine minutes.”

Priorities, people.  Meeting the president is fine in and of itself.  But a football coach coaches football.  If meeting the president means missing a flight, and probably missing a day of practice as a result, meeting the president will have to wait for another day.

It is so easy for us to get distracted by the things of this life — good and bad — that we take our eyes off the important things.  Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).  Heaven (Colossians 3:1-2).  The kingdom (Matthew 6:33).  None of those things is particularly glamorous in the short term.  None offers a guarantee of getting our name on a building or off a mortgage.  But they are critical in providing what we say is most important.

If that’s not enough to keep our attention, then maybe we’re fooling ourselves.  Regroup.  Refocus.  Recommit.