By Rev Ivan Neish
My mother used to tell a rather embarrassing story about me when I was a child. I was probably about four years old when she took me out to buy me a new pair of shoes, an adventure filled with excitement for someone of my age.
We entered the shoe shop and as we were admiring the various styles and colours, she noticed that I seemed somewhat distracted by a bald man standing nearby. I seemed more interested in him than in the new shoes. I might stress that this was in a day when being without hair was not a fashion choice but a matter of unavoidable necessity.
Afraid that I might be tempted to make some comment, my mother repeatedly drew my attention away from the bald head to the footwear. Her effort finally seemed to have met with success when she asked me to point out the shoes I wanted. I stretched my little stubby index finger towards one of the displays, apparently trying to make up my mind when without warning, I suddenly whirled around, pointed as dramatically as I could and said at the top of my voice: “Look at that man with no hair.”
As you can imagine, my mother was totally embarrassed, apologised to the man and promptly escorted me out of the shop!
This is a rather amusing incident, as long as the child is not yours! Yet in life we can be equally distracted from the purpose of being here, by the many interesting things around us. These can take our attention away from what is to be our main focus.
It is a blessing to have the good things of life, but any of these can be like the man with no hair to a small boy, consuming our energy, time and thought. Jesus tells us: “Seek first his kingdom, and all these things will be added to you as well.” (Mt.6v33). By this He means that we should make it our first business to discover the reason why we are in this world, by entering and living in God’s kingdom. We do this by responding to the invitation of the King, Jesus Christ, to come to Him and find life, which He has provided through His death and resurrection. When we do this, we can enjoy all that we have in a new way, as gifts from a generous Heavenly Father.
Let me urge you not to let the ‘bald men’ of this world, interesting as they might be, take away your attention from the reason why God has brought you into this world in the first place.