My first married Thanksgiving was a domestic catastrophe that I may never fully recover from. I attempted to make my first apple pie. Rather than stick to a traditional lattice, or heaven forbid a normal pie top, I decided to display my creativity with cut out dough leaves Because I was new to the fam and had a reputation to set. One thing lead to another and my pie turned into a monster. The guts were too gooey and bubbled through the dough leaves, which I promptly patched with new, less cooked dough leaves, yielding Frankenstein himself in pie form. And as if it couldn’t get any worse, it tasted as bad as it looked. HusBen was the only person to take a slice, which was basically inedible, and the rest was tossed into the garbage. Needless to say, I now understand why people purchase pies from people who know what they’re doing.
That first married Thanksgiving was marked by stress and pie-shame, not thankfulness. And is was not for lack of things to be grateful for! But I didn’t have time to be thankful because I was too worried about impressing my in-laws beforehand and then too embarrassed of my Franken-pie. I let all of the little things distract me from the main thing.
With the holidays around the corner, I’m going to be sharing a series about just that: keeping the main thing, the main thing. Sure, there are practicalities that demand attention, but I don’t want this holiday season to be marked by anything other than gratitude and celebration of what God has done. I want to seek him first regardless of what any given day holds. But I know myself well enough to know that if I’m not intentional about setting my mind and heart on things above, it ain’t gonna’ happen. See, I have this terrible tendency to get distracted. By all of the things. And I will inevitably get distracted by the production and miss the purpose of the holidays.
God tells us to seek him first, all things considered. We know this passage well, but I want to lay the foundation for the rest of the series starting here:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on… And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” Luke 12:22, 29-31
Typically we see this passage through the lens of anxiety, which makes sense given the explicit “do not worry” commands, but I want to invite you to look at this passage through a lens of distractions instead. God recognizes the worries of man, and does not ever mention these needs of ours are going away. He doesn’t tell us to quit needing them, but rather tells us to prioritize him and his kingdom above all of these things. Yes, we need food and we need clothing, but we N-E-E-D us some Jesus. But if you’re anything like me, you’re more attune to your need for food and drink than you are to your need for Jesus.
Let’s keep the main thing the main thing.
So what is the main thing in this passage? What is it that the people are distracted from? It’s the kingdom of God. And what are these people being distracted by? What they will eat and drink, or what they will wear. I think we should take a moment to recognize how close to home this hits. Not trying to sound basic or anything, but these are things I think about on the reg. Anyone else? Let’s consider this a personal shout out to anybody who is already geeking out about that Thanksgiving menu or what outfit you’re planning to wear for Christmas pictures.
God sees us right where we are and knows that we need these things (necessity is in the eye of the beholder; needing water and needing coffee are not the same kind of need), and he’s telling us to seek his kingdom first, all things considered.
I don’t want to simply survive the holidays. I don’t want to seek him first only when it’s convenient and then push him to the wayside when things get cray. No, I want this season to be one of reflection, gratitude, and reverence. I want this season to be marked by seeking him first, and keeping the main thing the main thing. Join me in looking ahead and preparing our hearts to focus on his kingdom this holiday season.
Ask yourself, what has marked your previous holiday seasons?
How what were you distracted from?
What were you distracted by?
How can you prioritize seeking him first as we enter into this season?