Like a Dog Chasing Its Tail
By Seeds founder and President Jason Houser
There are dog people and there are cat people. We like cats, but we REALLY love our dog Scout. She’s a fun-loving golden retriever that knows how to have a good time. She helps us with the Christmas lights and loves celebrating birthdays!
She’s also good at getting into trouble, like the time she ran out on a frozen pond and fell through the ice. Don’t worry—it wasn’t too deep—she climbed right out.
She also loves to chase her tail, which is so funny to watch, because of how pointless it is. She goes and goes and circles and circles and eventually just plops down exhausted, giving up hope. It’s like she realizes she’s getting nowhere. Which is exactly true. (Check out the video of her falling in the ice and chasing her tail here.)
Matthew 6:31-33 says, “31 Therefore do not be anxious saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Close your eyes for a second and imagine a giant crowd of people standing at the base of a mountain listening to Jesus teach these verses. Maybe they’ve seen Jesus do miracles or they’ve heard of Him healing people in other cities. Now they’re here to see Him in person—full of excitement for what He might say (you can open your eyes now). They noticed right away that His teaching was not like that of other teachers; it was the most powerful and greatest teaching they had ever heard.
He tells them not to be anxious about food, drink, and clothing: the basic necessities of life. Don’t be anxious, or worry about those things. Why? Because worrying about them is like a dog chasing its tail—it’s an empty pursuit. It does nothing to solve the problem.
The “Gentiles” in verse 32, or, the people in the world who don’t know God, worry about those things first and foremost, rather than focusing on the things of God. What are we supposed to do instead? Verse 33 says to put first-things-first: Seek first the kingdom of God. Go after the things that are most important to God—like loving Him, having a relationship with Him, and loving others. Also seek His righteousness, which means the things that are right according to God. How do we know what’s right according to God? His Word is what tells us what is right and true.
When we do this when we put first-things-first, all these other things like food, drink, and clothing, things that we definitely need, will be ‘added to you;’ they will be met. We can trust that if we get things in their right order, God is going to take care of our needs.
1. What is something you tend to worry about?
2. How can you put aside worry by seeking first the kingdom of God?
God, we know that you are our great provider, yet we all tend to get anxious at times. Help us to turn to you when we’re tempted to worry about the basic necessities of life. Help us to trust you to provide everything we need. Give us the strength of character to ‘seek first the kingdom of God’ instead of chasing after the empty things of this world.