Read Haggai 1:3-11.
“’You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house’” (v. 9).
Auburn’s first 1,000-yard rusher realized what his priorities in life were the day he walked into Hell.
As a senior in 1942, tailback Roy “Monk” Gafford bulldozed his way to 1,004 yards, becoming the first Auburn rusher to break the 1,000-yard mark. He averaged 7.6 yards per carry that season.
Playing in the day of leather helmets and two-way players, Gafford was a proficient kicker, passer, and defender. He was named All-America and the SEC Player of the Year in ‘42. In 1985, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Gafford was always uncomfortable with his fame, however. “I’d say I had some sort of complex about the publicity I got,” he said years after his playing days ended. “My teammates had as much to do with me making it as I did.”
Only months after the 1942 season ended, Gafford was on the front lines of World War II. What he experienced put football in its proper place for him.
In April 1945, Gafford was among the first Allied troops to enter the liberated concentration camp at Dachau. “I was actually the first officer with men taking over Dachau,” he recalled. What he saw changed him forever. “You never get over it once you see it,” he said. “When you see something like that, it lets you know how important a football game is compared to human life.”
Thus, after the war, though Gafford played some professional football, it never was his top priority. He was able to leave the game without regrets and move on with his life.
Like “Monk” Gafford, football may not be the most important thing in your life, but you do have priorities. What is it that you would give up only with your dying breath? Your family? Every dime you have? Your Auburn season tickets?
And what about God? What position does God occupy among your priorities? Which of them would you keep even at the cost of denouncing your faith in Jesus Christ?
God doesn’t force us to make such unspeakable choices; nevertheless, followers of Jesus Christ often become confused about their priorities because so much in our lives clamors for attention and time. It all seems so worthwhile.
From God’s standpoint, though — the only one that matters — if we work for ourselves and ignore our spiritual lives, we will never have enough. Only our deepest needs matter most to God, and these can be met only through putting God first in our lives. To ignore our relationship with God while meeting our physical needs is to travel down the sure road to death and destruction.
God — and God alone — is No. 1.
If you’ve ever heard me at a press conference, the first thing I do is give honor to God because he’s first in my life. — College basketball coach Gary Waters
God should always be number one in our lives.