Some people may think I am spoiled. Some people may call me impatient. However, I blame things like Amazon for making me the way I am. I mean, I remember being younger waiting for the Sears catalog to come in the mail to highlight my Christmas wishlist, nowadays I can shop for literally anything, anytime and have it same day delivered right to my door.
Yes, gone are the days of “please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery”. In fact, I am so used to being able to get what I want, when I want, that it translates into every other aspect of my life. I was looking for a new axle for my boat the other day and found one in Delaware for a good price. In today’s everything online shopping, what are state lines? I added it to my cart, and when it got time for shipping I picked priority plus, because you know I need it now. However, when it got time to pay for shipping, picking priority increased the price $150. I thought to myself, are they kidding me? I am not paying extra for what I get for free somewhere else.
As I thought more about this over the past couple of days, I kept getting upset. I can’t believe the audacity of people now charge almost 100% just to send me something I ordered. Don’t they know there are companies that get me products the same day for free? What is so important about priority shipping? That is a crazy word priority, why would the word, priority, cost so much more money? (I know my mind doesn’t always work linear)
Priority demands a cost though, doesn’t it? I mean the word priority does mean the front of the line, the most important, and why wouldn’t that have a cost associated with it? Think about our lives, they are dominated by priority. My guess is, even as you read this, you have priorities in your life. Like my family needs to eat, so instead of just watching tv, I need to go to work. I want my marriage to work, so I need to pay attention to my husband/wife instead of going out.
Priority means that everything else takes a back seat. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus tells us this, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
Now, this isn’t the beginning of our priority list, what Jesus is saying here is everything else comes in behind this one thing. My family, my job, my future, my life comes second to “seeking the Kingdom of God”. There is a cost, a big cost.
In fact, in Luke 9:23-25 Jesus tells us this cost, “23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself”
The biggest lie we can tell ourselves, is that Jesus doesn’t demand to be our priority, that everything is a gift. Jesus tells us if we are to follow after Him, then everything else in my life is a distant second compared to what Jesus calls us to. If this seems like a steep cost to you, then think about what you are signing up for. Jesus doesn’t just call us to be Christians one day a week for 90 minutes, it is an all or nothing call.
Now I do not want any of you to be discouraged by this. There is joy, freedom, and peace in following Christ. I am just saying we need to pick a side. Again, what profit comes from gaining the whole world, yet losing ourselves? There are plenty of shiny things in this world that will lead us to complete emptiness. Those things will eventually fail us, regardless of how much we might have thought we needed it.
Think about all the things in your life that you thought you couldn’t live without. The car, the vacations, the trinkets, the pictures, the people all these things have hurt us at some point. All these things have left us feeling empty, discouraged, and longing for more, because we are created for more. However, trying to play both sides, trying to have our cake and eat it too, isn’t doing us any good. It just leaves us tired and wanting something deeper.
If we are claiming to follow Christ, we have to understand that the walk is only getting harder. In the early 1990’s 90% of American adults claimed to follow Christ, today that number is 63% and falling. We live in a society that is increasingly less Christian, with no turn around on the horizon. However, our priority first and foremost is to Christ and that means we keep walking, we keep preaching, and we keep believing the Spirit is still saving.
Pick a side, figure out your priorities, and live a life worthy of your calling (Ephesians 4:1-4)