Cumberland Times-News

July 17, 2008

Seek God, his kingdom, rest will fall into place

David Sandvick, Columnist

On a recent shopping outing I was asked an interesting question. As we checked out, the cashier at the department store asked, "Did you find everything okay?"

For some reason the question stuck in my mind. I wanted to inquire just what she meant. Was she asking if I had literally found everything in the store? No, we didn't, but then we weren't really looking for everything.

We looked for a lot of stuff, but certainly not everything. Everything is a lot. I think it would have taken us all day to find everything in that store. My curiosity also wanted me to respond to her with, "Why, were you hiding things?" Shouldn't a department store put items for sale where they are easily seen instead of hiding them?

After all, shopping for shoes should not be like an Easter egg hunt. Or perhaps the clerk was simply asking if all aspects of our shopping experience were satisfactory, or okay. If that is the case, then yes, without the pressure of finding everything it was okay. Maybe even better than okay.

In some ways, the clerk's question reminded me of the state of our culture. We live in a world that is looking for everything and wants everything. Although there is nothing wrong with having things, it is the constant pursuit of having things that detract us from the abundant life God offers.

Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you." We are to be searching not just for anything and everything, but for one thing. We are to seek God and his kingdom. If we do that, all else will fall into place in life.

One final thought on the question asked of me in the store. I lied. I feel bad about it, but I lied. When she asked if I found everything okay, I said, "Yes." To which she probably thought, "Wow, he's the first one to ever find it all."

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.