"You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me" (John 12:8).
There once was a man who had won rewards coupon to a large home improvement store not too far from where he lived. As a homeowner, he had come to learn very quickly that the list of projects to be done seemed as endless and infinite as sometimes God, Himself! Every time one project was crossed off the list, three more found there way to replace it. So one can only imagine the excitement of this homeowner to receive "free" merchandise from a store that would help him to accomplish these projects. However, the man just couldn't decide which project he wanted to tackle first. Would he buy paint for kids' rooms? Perhaps that new power washer he'd been eying for quite some time? Or, he could replace all hardware on the kitchen cabinets, or build those new shelves for the family room! The more he wrestled in his mind over what, he failed to look at the "when." By the time he had decided on new tools for the garage, the store clerk had the unfortunate deed of informing the man that he had waited too long and the reward had expired. He had focused on the wrong detail. The benefit of the coupon was no longer.
Jesus was addressing the fact of His physical human presence on earth, not His omnipresent existence. He is still, now, everywhere and all the time. He was also pointing out how his disciples were missing what was most important. Jesus responded to the one, Judas, who would soon deceptively betray Jesus, but with an answer that still applies today.
There will always be the "poor" among us. There will always be things to do, people to see, and places to go. There will always be opportunity to do "good and noble" things. But, when the "good" takes our focus off of God, we are headed for great emptiness and missed opportunities. Our focus is to worship Him and out of that we live out our lives.
How's your focus? Isn't on Him? Is it on the One who gives you breath, who loves you in spite of the mistakes and failures? Or, is it on the details in this life that will one day matter no more? Take some time today and focus or refocus your day, your life on Him.