Know What’s Important
Jan 21, 2019 2600
The secret to a happy life is to know what’s important. But that’s easier said than done.
The ancient Egyptians thought they knew what was important. They wanted people to have a comfortable afterlife. For that, they figured that after death, people would need their liver, stomach, lungs, and intestines. So, for thousands of years, as part of the mummification process, the embalmers would carefully remove those organs, dry them, and store each one separately in a jar next to the mummy, where the person who had died would be able to easily find them in the afterlife.
The brain, however, was another matter. It seemed to be just a useless blog of mushy stuff that served no purpose. So, for thousands of years, the Egyptians would take the brains out of the bodies, and throw them away! They had no idea of the role of the brain. Although they were a very sophisticated civilisation, they had no idea about what was important!
That’s the trap we all easily fall into. We can think that we are so clever, and that our culture is so advanced, that we discard what’s most important. That’s what’s happened in the last century with western society’s rejection of God.
To put God first in our lives is our greatest obligation.
What are the things we value? We value celebrity, we value science, we value progress, we value wealth, and we value power. We have untethered ourselves form our origins and the values that made us great. So, then we come to God. He seems to serve no purpose, and so like the Egyptians threw away the brain, our society has discarded God as useless. But the reality is that, like the brain is to the body, God is what is most important of all.
However, the application I’m thinking of is more personal. Jesus continually reminded his followers of how important it is to always put God first in our lives:
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt 6:33, NIV).
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered,
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment (Matt 22:37–28, NIV).
In other words, to put God first in our lives is our greatest obligation. And we fulfil that obligation when we love him most.
But instead, if we look at the way we live our lives, we tend to do what the Egyptians did. We look at our money and material possessions, and carefully put them in a treasured jar. We take our jobs and work and we carefully store it away. We look at what others say about us, and we put then in a separate precious jar. Then we look at our hurts and grudges and carefully put them in a special jar also.
But then we take the Kingdom of God and everything that belongs to it, like love, and mercy, and righteousness, and we don’t really know what to do with those in our lives. So we end up throwing them away.
If you want happiness in your life, don’t be like the Egyptians. Know what’s important.
– Eliezer Gonzalez