Each day is filled with thousands of choices. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all prioritize our lives by the choices we make. Everything we do is prioritized. When we are striving to achieve a goal, that goal is placed near or at the top of the list. Everything we do focuses on the top. When I signed up for the Ironman, immediately this became a top priority. I had to sacrifice time with friends (so I could get rest), I had to sacrifice certain eating habits (although I didn't sacrifice as much as I probably should have:), and at times I even sacrificed my relationship with God.
Daily we make decisions that reflect what our priorities are. Too often we do not stay focused on our goal, which should be to know Christ and to make Christ known. When we are not focused on this, we waste hours of our day on meaningless things. We can sit down in front of the tv for hours and watch pointless shows or spend countless hours on facebook, where we compare our lives with others. We tend to waste lots of time. We waste money trying to improve our self-esteem or on the latest 'thing'. When we stop striving to become more like Christ, we lose focus and become poor stewards of what God has given us.
As I trained, I never listened to music. Before training started I told myself I would use this time to talk with God and to listen, making sure that He would stay #1 on my priority list. There were times were I lost focus of why I was doing this event. At times, becoming an Ironman was selfish, a goal to gain significance in the world and in the eyes of those I love. And it was in those times where God lost priority that I struggled, that I wanted to stop training, and where I felt weak. But when we are weak, God is strong, and as race day came closer, I refocused, knowing that the only way I could complete this task, is with God's help.
I have learned that no matter what our goals in life are, God MUST be #1 on our priority list. It's not so much about what we are doing, but about why we are doing it. Make God #1, and never sacrifice this!