Announce, “I have a prize for the person who can drink this glass of water, using these two straws, in ten seconds. Pick a volunteer. Have the volunteer first take a sip of water from each straw individually; next ask if they are ready. Now, take one straw out of the water and hold it outside the glass while the other straw remains in the water. Tell them to go. It is impossible to drink the water with one straw out of the glass. Feel free to give another volunteer a try.
This is a picture of Luke 12: 29,31 “Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.” “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”
These verses tell us to focus on just one thing—pleasing the Lord—that is drinking with one straw. With just one straw, our thirst is quenched. By focusing on Jesus, by being thankful to Him and serving others, we welcome in peace and joy.
When we try to have God and the things of this world we end up not having anything. Like drinking with two straws, the worldly things drain our hearing from God and experiencing His peace and joy.
I know for me, it is better to give than to receive because of the joy I see it bring to others. I am blessed by other’s thankfulness. Now I am not saying God is like me, but I do believe He is blessed by our thankfulness. We honor Him by giving thanks in all circumstances. (I Thess. 5:18)
Jesus also says in Matt. 25: 40 “The King replied, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.’”
Truly as we serve one another, we are drinking from one straw, we are pleasing the Lord.
Next week is Christmas, the celebration of Jesus birth. What a great time to be thankful and to drink from one straw. Yet, many other straws try to distract us. Things that could enhance our celebration of Jesus’ birth can drain and distract if we focus on ourselves or what we didn’t receive. Some extra straws might be: recitals, parties, presents, food…when these things disappoint us we feel empty. So instead of putting our straw (hope) in a perfect recital, an exciting party, or a special gift, focus on Who is being celebrated and serving those you are with. By being thankful we can enjoy the extras that come with Christmas too.
Drinking from one straw is how the Lord wants us live year round. We can rid ourselves of the second straws that try to drain us by being thankful and serving others. When we are thankful, we chase away discontentment and welcome in peace and joy. When we serve others we are serving the Lord. By thanking and serving we are drinking from one straw, the straw of seeking God’s kingdom, which is pleasing the Lord.