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Phone Ringing, Baby Crying, Water is running in the tub.

Someone at the
Door–What is Your Top Priority?

What would you do if all of the sudden the baby is crying, your phone is
ringing and someone comes to the door. What if the water is running in the
tub? Situations that call for split-second decisions can reveal what you
consider the top priorities in your life.
Find out what means the most to you:
 The baby is crying.
 Water is running in the tub.
 There’s a knock at the door.
 The phone is ringing.
What do you do first? Here’s an explanation of what your choice means:
 Soothing the baby before dealing with anything else indicates your
family comes first in every instance.
 Turning off the faucet before dealing with the other problems means
money is most important to you.
 Heading for the door first symbolizes the essential place friends and
relatives hold in your life.
 Answering the phone before attending to anything else reveals
strong devotion to your job and career.
 First Things First

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).

A successful businessman was zipping along through a residential district

in his new Jaguar, at a somewhat reckless speed, when he heard a thud that
told him something had hit his car door. He skidded to a stop, backed up,
and found a brick in the street—the obvious cause of the ugly dent in his
car door. Just then a young lad emerged from between the parked cars—
obviously the culprit. “Did you throw this brick at my car?” demanded the

“Yes, sir,” he said. “And I’m really sorry, but I had to throw the brick, ‘cause I
couldn’t get any car to stop by waving at them. They were all going by too
fast. I need someone to help me with my little brother; he fell out of his
wheel chair going over the curb. He’s paralyzed and now he’s bleeding and
I can’t pick him up to put him back into his wheel chair.”

The driver’s anger dissolved suddenly into compassion, as he lifted the

slightly injured child back into his wheel chair, guiding it back to the
sidewalk. As the lad hurriedly pushed his brother homeward for first-aid
attention, he shouted back to the driver, ‘Thank you, Sir. Sorry about the
car. God bless you!”
The driver never had the dent repaired; he left it as his constant reminder
that as we humans recklessly speed through life, focused on our own petty
interests and desires, God sometimes “throws a brick at us”—some
distressing hardship—to restore an awareness of what is truly urgent or
important in our life. We need to be reminded to prioritize our goals in
life—first things first!

Putting first things first—prioritizing our life—is the theme of the Martha-
Mary episode in Luke’s Gospel (Ch. 10). Jesus highlights this basic theme
with his response to Martha’s complaint: “Mary had chosen what is most
important” for us as Christians—followers of Christ—namely, cultivating a
personal encounter with him. Paul tells us (2 Cor. 13:5) to test ourselves
regarding our basic faith commitment; he says we will fail the test as
authentic Christians if our life is not ultimately and primarily Christ-focused.
In a former encounter, Mary, a converted prostitute, touched by Jesus’
gentle mercy, was so Christ-focused that she party-crashed another’s home
to anoint Jesus’ feet with perfume.
Like Mary, Martha too was Christ-enamored, as she arduously prepared the
meal for her guest of honor; both Luke and John chronicle that fact. Jesus
rebuked Martha, not for her urgent work and loving care in preparing the
meal, but for her hectic freneticism in doing so. Jesus told her that she was
“worried and upset about many things.” Mary’s hospitality in not leaving
Jesus alone was different and more sublime than Martha’s. Mary,
mesmerized by Jesus’ loving words, chose a priority not to be abrogated by
Martha’s lesser one.

Jesus was a supreme champion of prioritizing life. He showed the rank

materialism of godless pagans lacking a sense of true priority, worrying
about what they’re going to eat or wear. Our heavenly Father knows we
have need of all these things, he reminds us, “but seek FIRST his kingdom
and holiness, and all these things will be given you” (Matt. 6:33). We must
seek first his kingdom (“thy kingdom come”) and the universal holiness that
is to characterize that planned end-time kingdom—the holiness attained by
conforming to his will (“thy will be done”). God’s priority thus becomes