I frequently get caught up in the little things in life and miss the big picture. I will get so worried about one area that I forget what’s really important. There have been times when I start worrying about things that are happening or might happen, whether they’re big or little, and I miss things God’s trying to show me. I focus my attention somewhere else other than where it ought to be.
I’ve often looked back on a verse in 1 Samuel that I’ve grown to love when I realize that I’ve become caught up in the trivial things. It’s 1 Samuel 1:8 , “Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’“
When I first read this verse, I realized what the Lord was trying to show me. I was getting upset over the silly little things that might happen, and was missing growing in my relationship with Him.
Oftentimes, we get caught up in the here and now. We focus on the little problems, and frequently we blow them out of proportion. But when you evaluate it with an eternal perspective in mind, how often are those little things truly important? What should you be focusing on instead?
I’ve found that most of the time, these things become more important than my relationship with Christ. I know, I’m not supposed to say that; but it’s true. But it’s not just me. All of us at one point or another have put other things where Christ is supposed to be – we have forgotten who our first love is. (Rev. 2:4) We have made something else higher up on our priority list than maintaining a relationship with our Savior. But our pride doesn’t want us to admit it.
I’ll just state it bluntly: we idolize things other than Christ.
So, we’ve acknowledged that we have idols: TV, books, social media, friends, activities, etc. What do we do now?
We surrender our hearts to the Lord and make Him first in our lives. How do we do this? By fleeing the evil desires of youth and running to Jesus. By loving Him and longing for a close, thriving relationship with Him more than we do whatever it is we want. It may not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, but who said following Christ didn’t come with its challenges? Following Christ means total abandonment to self and desires of the flesh. It means giving up your old way of life, and the things that bind you to the world. It means letting go.
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Mt. 5:29-30
Sometimes, this change can be beyond difficult. Sometimes, it may be extreme. But if we honestly want to love Him more, then we must make our desire to love Him overpower our desire to appease the flesh. We must make the choice that we know is right, and not go by feelings.
God’s calling us back to Him. He wants Himself to mean more to us than ten of whatever it is that we love more. Will we hold on to what we have put in His place? Or will we answer the call?