I want to surf shoulder-high waves, add to my collection of Anthropologie pieces, decorate my house until its worthy of being featured on a top interior design blog, own a beachfront cottage and travel to far away lands. I love the feeling of my fingers wrapped around a warm vanilla latte, sweet kisses from my husband, the rush of getting a new pair of shoes, and the joy that comes from laughing so hard my stomach hurts.
I love life and all it has to offer, but I can’t ignore injustice or turn a blind eye to a broken and impoverished world. How do I reconcile my affinity for the pleasures of this world with my desire to make it better? How do I both enjoy it and improve it without feeling guilty while doing one and miserable doing the other?
Famous red letters said by Jesus tell us “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).” I’m challenged to ask myself, “Am I really seeking first the kingdom of God? Or am I too preoccupied with building myself a pretty, perfect, little life?” My honest answer isn’t always pretty.
I’m realizing that in seeking God’s kingdom, “all these things” might not include the means to get my nails done whenever I want or own a beachfront cottage, but in “all these things” lies God’s promise to give me every thing I need…and even more. I’m learning how to balance between soaking in the goodness this life has to offer, and pouring out compassion and generosity upon the lives of others to make theirs better. And I’m realizing these two are not mutually exclusive.
To each of us, much has been given, which means much is required (Luke 12:48). The question is, whose kingdom are we seeking first?