"Too often we confuse first things and second things. If I want my children to have beautiful imaginations (a second thing), I must first turn off the television, read them descriptive, fantastical books, and give them experiences that let their mind wander and dream (a first thing). I can't tell them to practice "imagination." I have to create an environment that first encourages is. Consider bestselling gooks. Authors don't set out to create a bestseller (a second thing), and in most cases if they did, they'd never get the result. Instead, they set out to write an honest account of their view of the world (a first thing) in hopes that others will appreciate it and benefit from it. If the readers tell their friends and more people read it, the book could become a bestseller. But you hardly ever achieve the second things without the first things. As C.S. Lewis wrote in his brilliant essay "First and Second things," "You can't get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first."
Gabe Lyons' The Next Christians: How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith.
This has been causing me some thought. I find myself often going and desiring the second thing without pursuing the first.
What about you?