Make me first... 1 Kings 17:13 (AV)
The choice we often face is not between the good and the bad, but between things that matter and things that matter most. None would question the legitimacy of the activity of the widow of Zarephath in assuming her family responsibility, but her wisdom was shown in acknowledging a prior claim. The request of Elijah was the claim of God upon the little she had.
It finds its reflection in the words of Jesus set against the background of a busy life and an affluent society. 'Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness' (Matt.6:33). This is the one safeguard against the thorns and thistles which choke the life of the seed.
Many of us are so taken up with important matters that we have forgotten the highest priorities. We have a habit of putting other pressing duties forward, before we attend to the highest claims of Christ. It is the thin end of a big wedge, an attitude fraught with danger, because there will be no end to such duties if we once admit the principle. Neither shall we or others lose by our putting first things first: the widow of Zarephath found her supply sufficed throughout the days of famine; the promise of Jesus is 'and all these things shall be yours as well'. The Lord is no man's debtor. It takes discipline and determination to do that which is most important first. But if we do so, the urgent things will certainly be done, and perhaps better done as a result.
Seek ye first, not earthly pleasure,
Fading joy and failing treasure,
But the love that knows no measure
Seek ye first, seek ye first.
Further reading: 1 Ki 17:8-16. Lk 10:38-42.