We lived next door to my grandmother’s house when I was a kid. I only have a few memories of her place, but the only possession of hers that I remember is her little woodpecker toothpick picker. We loved to sit at the counter and have the little metal bird pick up toothpicks over and over again.
About a decade ago, my aunt died and two of my sisters and I had to clean out her apartment. First, all her nieces and nephews were welcome to come and take her possessions that they wanted. We all walked around and wrote on our own page all the items we’d like, and then we went through the apartment together to make decisions.
Item after item got reserved for one person or another and eventually we got to the little toothpick picker. Everybody had it on their list and it looked like it’d be a fight because we all wanted it. My one observant cousin, however, noticed it was the only thing I’d asked for and said, “That’s the only thing you have written down, isn’t it?” “Yes,” I said, “It’s the only thing I remember.” Unanimously I got it. It sits cherished in my curio cabinet as a memory of my Nana.
When there’s only one thing we want it becomes the most important in our lives. It is our sole desire and focus. Most of our effort and attention goes to that thing and we gain much pleasure from it. It is much the same with the Lord. When He is the one we want, our desire and focus, then most of our effort and attention goes to Him and we gain much pleasure from His presence in our life. I cannot even explain the immense positive gains in my life due to Him… well, I could, but it’d take a lot of writing.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Mt. 6:33
…seek those things which are above… Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. Cl. 3:1,2
…but they who are according to the Spirit (mind) the things of the Spirit. Rm. 8:5
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Lk. 12:34
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php. 3:14
These Scriptures show a focus and attention on God and His kingdom first. For many years I thought I was putting God first but still maintained my own control and subconsciously delegated Him only to the parts of my life I wanted Him in, when I wanted Him there. Most of that time I didn’t know true joy or peace.
It was only when I began to make Him my priority, my focus, my first and most important one that I now live with that peace and joy even in the midst of troubles. When I was willing to make Him the only ‘desire’ on ‘my page’, then the pleasure of His presence became my greatest treasure. Life truly feels abundant (Jh. 10:10), exciting, and is full of His peace beyond understanding (Php. 4:7) and joy beyond measure (1Jh. 1:3,4). It is the only way I choose to live now. Come join me today!