“. . . seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
We once had this rising star in our company, Will I will call him, who everyone had their eye on as someone who was going places. Will was young, smart, and handsome with a magnetic personality, and the promotions were coming faster than they could print new business cards for him, moving his young family from one city to the next before they had time to unpack their boxes. Being a bit older and more stable in my position at that point, I was aware of the hazards that come with such rapid rise of a young ambitious and capable person like Will.
Sure enough, my greatest fears for Will began to unfold one evening in a Las Vegas casino. There was a company conference we were attending, and one evening as inevitably happens in Vegas a group migrated to a nearby casino. Will stepped up to one of the game tables, and with his colleagues cheering him on, began placing bets that were way beyond his means, showing off to put it bluntly. Although there was not much I could do to stop him, I do recall standing off in the shadows wanting to scream, “No Will, don’t do it!” It paid off for him, though you might say, because soon after Will was offered still another promotion. But then the wheels started to come off in his personal life as he became separated from his wife and children and eventually divorced.
Will’s downfall in his personal life can neither be blamed on his rapid rise in the ranks nor his long work hours or dedication to his job and company. He simply got his priorities mixed up, something any of us can be vulnerable to. Except by the grace of God, in fact, it could easily have been me. That old joke we have all heard, “no one ever confessed on his deathbed that he wished he had spent more time at the office,” is really no joke at all but a wise proverb; or as Jesus tells it to us straight up, “seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In other words, first get your priorities straight, number one being seeking God’s kingdom.
It has been many years since I last had contact with Will, but I pray he is doing well and has gotten his priorities straight. He was such a smart, capable guy with tremendous potential.