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  • Writer's picturePastor Karl Hauser

Praxis - Priorities - Praxis

Praxis is a word that literally means practice.  Not the repetitious type of practice, but rather, your way-of-doing-things practice.  Our personal lives are filled with priorities and practices. Our practices show the world what our priorities really are.  Some are obvious, we prioritize the well-being of our families or spending time with others.  Would you work a job you didn’t like for the sake of providing well for your family?  Perhaps yes because your family is a higher priority than your work.  Perhaps no, since doing something you love is more important than earning more money.  Your praxis shows your priorities, and your priorities inform your praxis.

But not all priorities are obvious.  Have you ever gotten in an argument with someone over something trivial?  You might say “It’s not even important.”  But why do we get bent out of shape over little things? It is because for us, those priorities are not little at all.  Deep down we all have one overruling priority: to be safe, which leads to our one overruling praxis: to get my way.  It is normal to seek safety and security and we each think we know best how to get it.

When Jen and I were first married we vowed to love and cherish each other.  But we each had our own way of doing things.  We had to cook, do laundry, manage work schedules.  Yet the things Jen did to feel safe, meant I felt out of control.  When I felt stressed I had my own coping behavior that make her feel out of control.  Our priories were causing the other harm.  Being self-aware of your deeper motivations and responses is essential to healthy growth. Yes, I may be helping myself feel better, but at what sacrifice to my other priorities?

Reevaluating priorities and coming up with new praxes is hard work.  Starting a new praxis might not be as comfortable or as familiar, but we need to be honest about our priorities.  For me, I don’t wake up and go running in the morning any more.  I think it is still a priority, but staying up late is my praxis.  If I want to act on my priority of running, I need to change the praxis of my bedtime.

Here is a hard question for us as Southminster: what is our praxis?  What are our top priorities?  When we say we want new members, new activities, are we willing to change our practices to get them?  We need to look in the mirror and say “what praxis do we need to change?”  If our top priority is “Southminster needs to stay the way I like it or I’ll leave,” then no other priority will be important enough to change our praxis.  If our priority is “for Southminster to be a vital and vibrant place for years to come,” how can we change our own praxis today to show the world we mean it?

          Pastor Karl

 

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