Priorities


Oh, he wanted to go but he didn’t have time.
After all, not to go, was it such a crime?
His intentions were good, when he promised to go,
But at the last minute he would always say, “No”.

And God wouldn’t notice, from his lofty perch,
If one single person never had time for church.
He knew not to go was most surely a sin
But he joked, if he went, the roof would cave in.

He met a young lady he wanted for wife;
He promised he’d change with more time for life.
The wedding was short, in front of a judge.
She opted for church but he wouldn’t budge.

He said he would go when the kids came along.
She’d heard that before, his usual old song.
She knew that this promise, like the one long before,
Had intentions so good but not a lot more.

“The time is not right”, is what he would say,
When she went to church and he went to play.
He never attended an after church mingle.
Church friends, of his wife, all thought she was single.

Their kids were all part of the church Christmas play.
They asked him to go, but he would just say,
His usual verse, with a wink and a grin,
“If I went to church, the roof would fall in”.

He told everyone he intended to go
But with time so important, he’d have to say, “No”.
His kids were all grown and had gone their own way,
Still church had no place in his Sabbath Day.

It happened so fast that time had no part.
They said it was stress that weakened his heart.
Now he couldn’t use his usual verse,
When they took him to church, in a shiny black hearse.


People often ask me where the ideas for my poems come from. I travel about seventy miles to visit my dentist. That’s because the Veterans Administration gives me free dental care. One day, while driving home, I noticed a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t visit church for the first time in a hearse”. By the time I had completed the two-hour trip home, I had Priorities pretty well written in my head. I wanted to word it in such a way that it would emphasize how we so often place the priorities of this life above those that could influence our relationship with God and our fate in eternity. If you have a friend who gives you the old ‘roof will fall in’ story, give him a copy of Priorities.

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