There are times in life when we have a tendency to focus on the little things.  What happens when we spend so much time doing that?  Try this exercise:

  • Grab a penny… or dime… or other kind of coin.
  • Hold it in front of your face so that it is in focus.
  • Look at that coin with full intensity

What happened?  The more you focus on the coin, the more everything else got fuzzy and started to leave your vision, even the things that were right in front of you.  Sure, you knew they were there, but you couldn’t focus on them because you were so focused on the coin.

It’s a lot like that in our faith at times.  We focus on the things that we put in front of our face, and eventually, we forget about everything else.  We lose focus on what’s truly important.  In today’s reading from Matthew, Jesus is getting pretty intense with the Pharisees.  He’s calling them out for focusing on the wrong things.

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisess.  Hypocrites!  For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law – justice, mercy and faith.  You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things (Matthew 23:23).

Those are some powerful words… and an important reminder.  Focus on what’s important.  Everything else, while it may have a measure of importance, needs to be pushed aside for the greater things in life.