seek: lent in pictures day 37

galison feather journal

seek

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But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
—Matthew 6:33

Strive first for the kingdom of God, Grace, not for wholeness and peace, not a fulfilling and cultured life. You spend a lot of your time daydreaming about and seeking out this certain life. A life where you sleep until you’re rested, wake to birdsong, putter around the house. After you feed the chickens, you make tea, practice yoga, and read poetry. Then you tend the sourdough starter you set out the night before and knead the bread. You share lunch with a friend, then take a nap, wordsmith a story, dabble in watercolor, or play the piano. When Dan comes home, you turn up the music and cook a long, slow meal, have a glass of wine, and tumble into bed.

But as hard as you’ve tried, your days aren’t like that. They’re never so romantic. And you’re not fulfilled, either. Because it’s not about the quality of your life.

It hit you the other day, didn’t it, while you were in the car and the sun was blaring into your eyes, that you’re seeking the wrong things first. You’re not seeking the wrong things period, just the wrong things first. Your seeking is disordered. If you sought first God’s kingdom, the other things would accompany it. But if you seek the other things—if you try to save your life—you’ll lose it.

And don’t seek the kingdom so that you can have your sunny window, lazy morning, chicken dream. Seek the kingdom so that others can join you. Seek the kingdom because why else is life worth living? Do you really want to arrive at the end of a pleasant, orderly life, only to find yourself alone? Alone because you’ve not invited others in? Or perhaps truly alone, alone because you’ve sought the wrong thing. God granted your wish, but now you see how misguided your wish was.

You are seeing, aren’t you, what matters. You told the girls in your Bible study that you didn’t want to live so selfishly, seeking out your own wellbeing. You wanted to throw open your arms and invite others into God’s kingdom, the life he offers.

It makes you anxious when you think about it, about the untidy floors and the tiny windows and the untouched art supplies. But you’ve managed so far, and your life hasn’t been half bad. Do you trust that God could burst the edges of your dream life and add even wilder things, things that fulfill you more deeply than you could have conceived before?

Why limit yourself to hardwood floors and cats napping in paned sunlight?

Why not seek first the kingdom? It’s the only worthwhile thing there is.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God
and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Allelu, alleluia.

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This post is part of a Lent Photo-a-Day series, connected to Rethink Church. The rest are here.

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