We must begin learning to distinguish between things vital, things important, and things all-important. Many of us have become sadly distracted, majoring in minors and minoring in majors.
As one observer has commented, modern man appears to be worshipping his work, working at his play, and playing at his worship.
Take a good, hard look at yourself. Do you allow trivial matters to dominate your life? Are important matters given higher priority than those which are all-important? Are all-important matters relegated to realms of virtual obscurity?
Just what are we talking about? A stain on the tie is trivial; a secure financial future is important; faithfulness to the Lord of life is all-important.
How often is our day made or ruined – seen as good or bad – depending upon whether we’re having a good hair day, whether or not our favorite shirt is clean, or what the weather is like? How often do we allow a red light or a long line, or a critical neighbor to dominate our thinking, our conversation, our very attitude or outlook?
But as grave a problem as this is, there is something more dangerous still. Are we not coming close to exchanging our very souls for the important? When flesh is given prominence over spirit, when living is allowed to supersede eternal life, and when time is valued over eternity, we are revealing a disastrous misdirection of focus.
There is nothing – NOTHING – more important than faithfulness to God. Jesus expects it; discipleship demands it. (Matthew 16:24,25.) First century Christians gave their lives in death for it. (Revelation 2:10.)
Self-preservation is a powerful instinct, but it is not the most important thing. We are more than animals, clawing from maddened instinct for survival. We have been blessed with the capacity to look beyond this life, to prioritize matters vying for our attention, and to truly put first things first.
But will we?