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FIRST THINGS FIRST

 

Paul Schneidmill

 

 

 

My children are very different in terms of attitude, characteristics, and most of all, their thought processes. 

 

The “Amazing Angela” (9) is a “sequential” thinker – she does everything, even to the point of how she plays with her multitude of stuffed animals and “Neo-pets,” in an organized and systematic manner.         

 

Our most recent family track star member, the “Prolific Paul” (12), is a “random” thinker – if you are not careful and don’t keep up when he’s in an expository mood, you’ll be left in the dust like a bicycle chasing a Buick through a serpentine series of roadway.

 

As I claim and love them both, I’m grateful for their analytical differences – they compliment each other and collectively benefit our family and home. 

 

Regarding thought processes and actions in general, we may agree that most things are, and need to be done in sequence. 

 

For example: To do laundry, you must first sort the clothes to be cleaned by color, fabric, and water temperature requirements.  Then you wash the clothes, dry them by temperature requirement, and fold and/or hang them up.  (Can you tell I do laundry?) 

 

To do yard-work properly, you must first remove debris (excess leaves, sticks, trash, etc.), mow the grass, and rake the yard as needed.  (Can you tell I do yard-work?  My wife will not validate this fully, but I have done it and still do it…sometimes.)   

 

About four fifths of the way through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-7:27), Jesus teaches a necessary, required, and significant sequence we must follow to insure we are accomplishing God’s purpose in our lives, in the correct manner and order. 

 

What’s greatly beneficial about this particular sequence is that it will work in every situation and circumstance; individually, collectively, socially, nationally, you name it…but it must be done first, before anything and everything else!

 

What is it?  We must seek (desire, look for, pursue, and search out) first (before all else) the Kingdom of God (not a physical kingdom, but the reign and rule of the one and only sovereign God of all creation and existence) and His righteousness (His standard of what is right); and all these other things (all the things we believe are important and necessary and/or requisite to life – contentment, happiness, peace, provision, security, shelter, stability, sustenance, you name it) will be added (included as a by-product of God’s blessings, grace, goodness, and mercy) to you (Matthew 6:33).

 

By the way, in defense of random thinkers (like my son), who also have the capability to think sequentially…sometimes, God has blessed us with some great ones…Maya Angelou, Les Brown, Dale Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., …

 

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