After wrapping up last Sunday’s morning worship service, I sat down at my desk and was greeted by a very unwelcome email from the company who hosts my website. “SECURITY BREACH!!” it screamed to let me know that my password had been compromised and potentially malicious files uploaded. Although I had been looking forward to heading straight home to put my feet up for a bit, I stayed late and followed all the suggested steps to remove the viruses and then seriously beef up security. I got home later than desired, but felt good that I had quickly resolved the problem at hand.
Then Monday came. Ugh. Nothing good ever happens on a Monday. (I’m channeling my inner Garfield.) I checked to make sure everything was still running smoothly and encountered a much bigger problem than the day before. I’ll spare you the technical jargon, but basically, my site was gone. I could log in to where I had all my files stored, but every time I tried to go to my actual web page, I was greeted with two words – “access denied.”
Thus began an extremely frustrating and spare-time-consuming battle over the past several days. The end result was that I had to start over and rebuild my website from scratch. Thankfully, I was able to recover most of my articles and I’ve managed a decent start on getting back online, but it will be several weeks of late nights and lunch breaks getting everything back to the way it was. I’m not a happy camper.
Forgive me for using my platform to complain about a personal problem, but I’m doing so to make a point – one which may serve as in important reminder during the next unexpected problem in your life. You’ve probably heard the expression “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” It’s a way of saying that we all tend to focus on whatever problems or worries that are right before us even if that means other things get neglected. I know that I often struggle in this way.
Over the past several days I’ve fought the temptation to give all my time to fixing this one issue. I want to stay late in the office and put all other projects on hold so I can get this terribly annoying “squeaky wheel” taken care of. However, I have to stop myself and repeat the reminder that getting a website back online ranks pretty far down the list of important tasks in my life right now. It’s not unimportant, but I can’t put it ahead of the time I spend deepening my walk with God, or let it keep me from being involved in the lives of my kids, or get in the way of being out and about sharing Christ with those I encounter.
Remember what Jesus said in His famous “Sermon on the Mount” about the importance of what gets your attention.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31–33, ESV)
These verses remind us that there are countless numbers of “squeaky wheels” in our lives, things that demand our attention and get the bulk of our efforts, but nothing is more important than seeking the things of God. It’s not that those other things are unimportant, for I certainly want to know that I have something to eat, drink and wear, but the value of those things are nothing compared to what a relationship with God provides.
Today, seek to rank your particular “squeaky wheel” in the correct order of importance of what God has tasked you to do. Don’t let the siren song of distractions keep you from first seeking the righteousness of God.