33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matt 6:33 nlt)
I like the strange stories that pop up in the newspaper every now and then. I don’t want a steady diet of them, after all the news, and what is going on in the world is important. As a Christian its important for us to be informed on what is going on in the world. But lets face it, we can only take so much of the hard news before we begin to get overwhelmed ,maybe a bit depressed.
So it’s with some relief that I find one of those odd stories. My favorite over the past week was one that came out of New Jersey about a woman who climbed a tree and realized that once she got up there she had no idea how to get down. Of course, this is something most children figure out the very first time they climb a tree, going up is easier than getting out.
But lest you think I am making fun of a grown woman getting stuck in a tree, it’s not the getting stuck that had me shaking my head. It was the reason she climbed the tree in the first place. She was playing Pokemon Go and had climbed the tree, I suppose, to get a better perspective on where Pokemon might be hiding or “stops” that she might want to get to.
If you are unfamiliar with Pokemon Go, it’s basically the old Gameboy Pokmeon game that’s laid over a GPS system of the community you are in. It essentially, by using your smart phone allows you to virtually be in the game as you walk around your community, One can find the characters over laid on different places, usually public spaces. You can play, catch, train your characters.
It’s become an incredible phenomena over the past few months. I know in our community it is quite commonplace to see thirty or forty people walking around playing the game over a few hours. Until I had heard about the game, I admit, it was a bit disturbing to see cars roll up late at night in front of the church and just sit there with their car running and their lights on. Once I knew our church was a “stop” for the game it made sense. People seem to play 24/7. Knowing that church’s are often used as a part of the game, many churches are using it as a way to be hospitable and welcoming their neighbors.
Of course, like any craze it’ll die down soon enough. But let’s get back to our lady up in the tree. She admitted that she was very embarrassed to call the police to help her get down and having to explain why she was in the tree in the first place. But the urge to play the game just got the better of her.
What are you looking for with an unabashed passion and zeal in your life? Are you searching for something with more substance in life than Pokemon with an urgency that matches these gamers? No, this isn’t going to be one of those rants against playing games and taking life more seriously. As I have said before, I find myself falling more in the camp of C.S. Lewis and G. K. Chesterton that Christians ought to have more fun in life, not less and that enjoying life is a way we reflect the joy of Jesus to a dark world. So go ahead and play if you enjoy it. I will say this, if you can afford a smart phone and you have enough leisure time to play Pokemon Go please don’t complain about your life. It’s better than 90 percent of the rest of the world.
I’m not asking you to look down on the game, I’m simply asking is there anything you have in life that you seek after with the same urgency and fervor? Our Scripture at the top of the blog suggests that what we seek after makes a difference in how we deal with the world.
This will be a familiar text for many of you. But I want to call attention to the context of this verse in what Jesus is saying. Jesus is talking about how we deal with worry and anxiety in life. Meeting daily needs, the normal day in and day out priorities we have. Jesus says, in essence, don’t let anxiety and worry paralyze your life and take all the joy out of it. God loves you and will take care of you. Jesus isn’t saying don’t plan or don’t have concerns. He is saying don’t let worry overwhelm your life.
Easier said than done? Perhaps. But Jesus tells the people seek first the kingdom of God and He will give you everything you need. Did you catch the formula there/ Seek first His Kingdom. Run after Jesus with a vengeance. Long for Him with a fervor. Let there be an urgency in how you do ministry or serve someone. If you run after His kingdom with this type of passion, Your worries and anxieties about life dissipate and you find in the end God has met all your needs. Maybe not how you would expect Him to,and nto lays with great financial gain, but with a satisfaction you ever dreamed of.
SO get out there run after Jesus. Seek His Kingdom. Catch all the blessings He has planned for you.
Rev. Dr. Brian Jones <><