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Self-Examination: Who Am I Seeking First?

You might have heard me mention, a time or three that I show the least amount of grace while driving. It’s true: I try and obey the speed limits and laws while it seems like so many others are always in a rush to get somewhere, exceeding the limits by 10, 20, and many more miles per hour. I often wonder why people feel the need to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, there can’t be that many emergencies, after all. What is more, the road becomes less safe for other drives and myself (I don’t know how many near-accidents and accidents I have witnessed because someone is in a hurry). Apart from a trip to the emergency room, I can’t think of any good reason to be so rushed all the time: our destinations don’t matter if we end up dead, right? So this morning, as my wife was driving me to work, we were cut off by someone trying to save 5 seconds (this person literally sped up and crossed over in to our lane, risking us T-Boning them). I came to this conclusion, as I thought about it, that the reason we act the way we do, whether driving, in the grocery store, online trying to purchase goods and services before anyone else, in harming or hurting others, we consider ourselves as more important than anyone else. This is why it doesn’t matter who we hurt, so long as we get what we want, and get to where we’re going in a way that benefits us. I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but I am trying to say that every one of us has a vanity problem. We’re a speck of dust on a speck of dust trying to prove, until our speck wears out, that we’re better or more important than the other specks around us. In the grand scheme of things, we have a relatively short existence, and so our importance isn’t what we think it is. Kings and emperors, tycoons and tyrants end up in the same place as the poor and impoverished. We take none of it with us, and so to get what we can while we can is, if I can borrow from Ecclesiastes, grasping after vapor. We get nothing for our toil, someone else inherits the fruits of our hard work. This is why the “me first” mentality is so meaningless. Jesus has an answer to all of this: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Do Not Be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:19-34)

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