PJs and Priorities | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
November 2014

PJs and Priorities

By: Katherine Harris

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Sometime around the middle of my sophomore year of college, I started wearing pajamas to class.

Not all of my classes. But sometimes (okay, most of the time, especially if that class met before 10 AM) I did not care enough about my appearance to get up an hour earlier and waste that time on picking an outfit or taming my hair. On my list of personal priorities, sleep ranked way higher than style.

Besides, I wasn’t going to class to impress anyone—I was going to learn. And I know I’m not the only one who did that—I saw the other ladies in sweatpants and cut-up shirts, the guys in PJ pants and a hoodie. There comes a point where something’s gotta give, so you prioritize.

But we don’t always get it right. Sometimes we hit the snooze button too many times, or decide we don’t really need to spend Saturday night studying for that big test on Monday… and eventually, we reap what we sow. We fail to prioritize—like placing a late night of fun ahead of preparing for a class we paid hundreds of dollars to attend—and we suffer for it.

With this in mind, I wonder what my list of spiritual priorities looks like? There have definitely been times when I sacrificed something in my spiritual life for something else that didn’t really matter. I’ve been guilty of sleeping in on Sunday morning because of a party Saturday night, because I can just go to church next weekend, right? Or ignoring the devotional I keep telling myself I’m going to do, because Grey’s Anatomy comes on in ten minutes, and I can’t miss that.

I’m not saying that missing church or neglecting your Bible makes you a bad Christian, not at all. My point is, sometimes we lose sight of what’s important—the ways in which we connect with God and His body, the church—because our schedules are packed with so many other enticing options.

But just like sleeping through that 8 AM Bio lab, failing to take our spiritual disciplines as seriously as our academic ones (or our dedication to our favorite TV shows) will only end up hurting us. When we fail to prioritize our spiritual lives over our leisure time, we may have more fun in the moment, but we’re robbing ourselves of something much greater.

Last week, I showed up to church in my pajamas. Seriously. I’d been going non-stop all day, and really just wanted to sleep, but I knew I needed to go. I needed my church family. I needed a sacred space to clear my head and connect. So I dragged myself off the couch, threw on a hoodie, and went to church.

I don’t think God cared that I showed up in pajamas. I think He was just glad I showed up at all. I know I was.

Discussion questions: What are your personal “spiritual disciplines”, and where are they on your priorities list? How do you feel differently when you devote time to those aspects of your life versus when you do not? Can you think of ways in which you can work those things—Bible reading, devotionals, prayer—into your daily schedule?