One afternoon at the park, I watched in amusement as a dog repeatedly chased a frisky squirrel up a tree. Over and over again, the squirrel climbed down just far enough to tease the dog, only to scramble back up, never coming close enough to risk being caught. Poor dog—what torment! And yet, he never surrendered the hope of catching that squirrel. Who could blame him? The world is filled with tempting treats promising to bring us joy and happiness.
And yet, just like that squirrel, they elude us every time. We chase the dreams, climb the corporate ladder, and exhaust ourselves trying in vain to grasp the next big thing. We can even overexert ourselves in ministry (remember Martha in Luke 10:38-41?). But in the end, joy eludes us. Why? We’re barking up the wrong tree! Jesus tells us that only one thing is required: spending time with Him (Martha’s sister Mary got it). “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
In doing so, He helps us to put all things in perspective. Instead of chasing dreams, we meet the Dream-Giver; instead of climbing the corporate ladder; we are promised to reign with Christ forever; instead of longing for the next big thing, we meet the Creator of all things. The world is bursting with trees filled with empty promises but there is only one tree that truly delivers: the one fashioned into a Cross. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (John 14:27)
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