Addition By Subtraction

I wasn’t born in Nebraska. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot when I was young but we finally settled in Nebraska and I consider it home.  I started attending a public school until my dad made the decision to quit his job and become a Christian school teacher.  I joined the school a year later as a student.  The school was not like Annapolis but I appreciated being taught in a Christian environment.  I participated in junior high band and enjoyed choir.  I acted in One Act and in one of the school plays, Anne of Green Gables.  I was in the pivotal role as “farmhand #2”.  I also played sports.  The sport I excelled in the most was volleyball.  My dad was the assistant girls’ volleyball coach and he was my ride home so, out of boredom, I began playing volleyball.  After high school, I went to a Christian college where I played college volleyball and got a teaching degree.  My first teaching job after graduation was back in Nebraska, where I spent the last 20 years in education.

I was getting better and better jobs but looking back I could see that I was starting to lose sight of what was truly important and a change was needed.  Most people that I talked to about coming to Annapolis did not understand why I would do this.  I had a big house, a good paying job, and I was being successful in my job.  

I used the word “successful”, but what does that mean?  Well, typically, in order to be successful, you must decide what is most important, what is first, set that as a goal, and when you reach that goal, you are successful.  

God made things in a way that there are some things that must be first, and that there are things that must be second, in order to truly glorify God and enjoy Him.  

We live in a world that fights against this and constantly wants to put second things first.  Even more, in our hearts, we crave the second things of life.  What are these second things?  In Matthew 6, Christ says there are two, first, treasures found here on earth and second, anything that we worry about to fulfill our wants, our needs, and our desires.   They could be friendships, good grades, being a good athlete, lots of cool toys, video games, food, getting into a good college, nice clothes, big houses, and money.  These things are not bad in and of themselves, but when they rise to #1 in your life, that is a problem.  Christ puts it this way in the verse that was read earlier, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (first things) and all these things will be added to you (second things).”  Later in that passage, Jesus said to not store up treasures on earth— 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”

As I looked at myself in the mirror, I had to be honest about what I was treasuring.  It led me to quit my job, sell my house and move my family to Corpus Christi.  It was about seeking a greater treasure, the treasure of God’s kingdom.  Ultimately all this boils down to these questions, what is the first thing in your life?  What do you treasure?  What do you think will make you truly happy?  If you are willing to look at yourself and be truly honest, whatever your heart is chasing after, that will determine the direction of your life.  My challenge to you is this, do not seek after earth bound treasure, but seek first God’s kingdom and you will find that your heart will be happy and at peace with whatever comes second.