I have been relearning Matthew 6:25-34 over the past couple of weeks. For the last few years I have believed that I was following these verses. I am not anxious that we will not have food to eat or clothes to wear. I spend a lot of time planning ahead for these things, so that I will not have to worry about them later. I have simplified my wardrobe, and learned more and more about nutrition, meal planning and recipes.
Last week however God revealed to me that even though I have not been anxious about these things, I spend much time concerned with them. I spent two or three hours one day attempting to figure out how few pieces of clothes I could get away with having- planning how each piece would match the others to make a presentable, attractive outfit- one that I would not be ashamed to wear in front of my mother.
The very next day, RJ and I decided to eat less meat and learn soup recipes in order to simplify our menus during Lent and in the future. So I spent about three hours looking up reduced meat and vegetarian recipes, using new kinds of beans and squashes I haven't cooked with much before. I made a chart cross referencing recipes and ingredients, so that I could shop for a few items that would make several meals.
I couldn't understand at first why two days spent on such practical pursuits felt so wasted, and then as I was trying to fall asleep I heard over and over, "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well." I knew this verse- I have heard it my whole life, but what does it mean to seek the kingdom? I have mostly heard about this in terms of looking for places where God is working, and trying to be involved in them, but surely that is not all this was referring to. Then I read a translation that said "strive" first for the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness. Suddenly I understood. Our first concern should always be to be wholly submitted to God, and in a right relationship with him.