Gordon MacDonald(1) makes a case for the correct establishment of priorities for cultivating an ordered inner spiritual life. As a minister and pastoral counselor, MacDonald points out that no matter how talented a an individual might be, without a well-developed, ordered, and prioritized inner life, it is only a matter of time before the person suffers from burnout or what he calls "sinkhole syndrome" - when the metaphorical ground of your life seems to drop out from under you. Gorgon offers valuable insight for choosing the correct priorities in life. He astutely observes that many of the most important priorities (family relationships, physical health, personal character, individual growth) are the ones most easily neglected.
I’m sure we can all think of times when we let the quality of family relationships slip during the busy season of work, ate unhealthy food for the convenience of not having to cook, or skipped going to the gym over an extended period of time. He describes these priorities as quieter – if you skip a few workouts there are no “alarms” going off in your life, but come into work late and you’re likely to get a reprimand. Macdonald warns that if we neglect the “quieter”, yet more important dimensions of our lives the results can be disastrous. Yes, we may have to skip a few hours in the gym to make sure we hit that deadline at work, but what happens when this pattern continues indefinitely as we repeatedly neglect personal health for career advancement? Health problems, decreased energy and productivity, chronic disease, and even premature disability or death may be the harvest we reap.
(1) Macdonald, G. (2007). Ordering Your Private World. Thomas Nelson Publishing.