Verse: Matthew 6:31-34
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Did you play freeze tag growing up? It's a frustrating game if you are the tagger because every time you tag someone, you leave to go get someone else, and then you turn back and the first person is free again! Unless you are really fast (or have 2 people helping you) you'll never win. You just keep chasing and chasing and chasing—but never succeeding.
Jesus tells us that people who don't know him "run after" all the things of life: food, fun, materialism, etc. The Greek word is "epizeteo" which means to seek for, to crave, to demand, or to clamor for. Interestingly almost the exact same word is used in the next sentence. We are called instead to "zeteo" first his kingdom.
There's a little bit of a play on words happening here. In other words, what are you going to chase after? You can spend your life playing freeze tag with the things of this world. Constantly chasing after materialism, popularity, financial security, pleasure, entertainment, etc. Or you can spend your life chasing after the things of the kingdom: loving God, loving others, prayer, service, ministry, and dreaming big for God's kingdom. The first kind of chasing will leave you empty and exhausted. But the second will leave you full and ready for more.
When we seek first the kingdom of God we still have the chance to have some of the other stuff, but it puts it in the proper order in our lives.
Personally this whole idea of "what am I running after" helps me visualize this passage. What are you running after? Are you more focused right now on pursuing all the stuff of the world? Or are you learning to chase after God's stuff first, and then let the other stuff fall into place?