Since my post yesterday I feel like I need to back up a bit and clarify. I got a little ahead of myself in mentioning the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl. (Matt 13:44-45) I want to look at the context of chapter 6 since it clarifies exactly what I was thinking in terms of what/where my priorities should be.
The statement "...seek first the kingdom" is in the same paragraph about worry. He mentions two main areas we are not to worry about. It is two areas in which I do spend more than enough time thinking and fretting over. He says "...do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear." I can imagine the disciples having this conversation:
"Peter, do you think this makes me look fat? These shoulder pads just don't do anything for me."
"Shoulder pads are so BC, Judas. I thought you were doing Adkins... maybe you should lay off the Shiraz for awhile."
Ouch. I love me my Lucky, Domino and Martha's Food magazines but what he's saying is that they are just that. Magazines. It's fun to dream and look and play but it will never be able to give me what I long for. It is at this point he says real treasure can only be found in kingdom stuff.
I've been thinking about how I could better simplify this idea of the kingdom. Here's what I've come up with. What does a kingdom have to have in order to be a kingdom? A king and his subjects. Now I'm going to take a wild guess but I do believe that the king is Jesus although
occasionally every once in a while daily I try to usurp the throne and sit there myself. And in order for a king to be king he needs subjects to rule over which is me, you, us, them. If we are seeking (pursuing a life of) kingdom work we are to serve the king. We serve the king by living, serving and being in community with each other. (Matt 6 & 7)
Crap. That means that relationships are important. More important than anything else. I am not the best at relationships. Sometimes I really don't want to be around anyone. Sometimes I would prefer only to hole up watch some reality TV and surf some blogs but that doesn't last for long. We were designed to have relationships. We crave them. All one has to do is look at the number of new blogs created daily to see that. We desire to know others and to be known. But relationships are messy. They're not black and white. People get hurt. I get hurt. blah.
Back to the subject of priority. Jesus says it's not about me. It's about Him and it's about people. That is where the real treasure lies. He never says it's easy, in fact I do believe He says the opposite. Guess what the very next chapter, the very next topic Jesus addresses after stating where we should place our priorities? The dreaded and famous "Judging Others" discourse! "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." (Matt 7:1) It's as if He knows what our biggest roadblock could be. Thank God.