I am slowly – and, I hope, surely – reconciling myself to the reality of Charlotte traffic. It hasn’t been easy. Nothing I was taught in driver’s ed ever prepared me to make a left turn off of Colony Road onto Carmel Road at 4:30 in the afternoon. At some point, I’m learning, the Steve Winwood philosophy of the road has to kick in: While you see a chance, take it—and then, hang on and hope for the best. Here’s the thing, though: All those cars on the road represent a whole bunch of priorities. People are willing to get out and brave the traffic because they believe there’s something important waiting for them on the other end of that drive. Maybe it’s a job, or another day of school, or a doctor’s appointment. It could be a child’s practice, lesson, or game. Perhaps it’s a workout at the gym, a quick trip to the grocery, or a cup of coffee with a friend. Whatever it is, it’s important – important enough, at least, to make a drive through the busy intersections of south Charlotte seem like a reasonable price to pay. Priorities have a way of doing that – driving us forward when it would be a lot easier, cheaper, safer, and more restful to stay put. If it’s important to us, then we make the time. If it’s important to us, then we find the money. If it’s important to us, then we take the risk. If it’s important to us, then we endure the hassle because, in the end, we’re convinced that what we’re headed toward is worth it. We know about priorities. We make choices every day based on them. Each time we get into the car and pull out of the driveway we are, in a sense, revealing something about our priorities. We’re also, Jesus suggests, revealing something about our hearts. “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth,” he tells us in Matthew 6:19, because none of it will last. What doesn’t get all rusty and moth-eaten, is liable to get stolen or misplaced. Investing our treasures – whether we’re talking about the days of our lives, our God-given talents, or our hard-earned dollars – in short-term securities is a poor strategy for kingdom growth. Instead, says Jesus, “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven” where neither rust, nor moth, nor thief can destroy what is of greatest importance to you. “For where your treasure is,” we’re told in Matthew 6:21, “there your heart will be also.” In other words, how we use our time, talent, and money reveals something about our hearts—and, often, it’s something we’re probably not very proud of. I know that’s frequently the case for me. We don’t have to stay this way, though. God can – God wants to – change us into people whose hearts are in the right place because our priorities are in the right order. When we finally let Jesus have his way with us, this kind of transformation is precisely what we can expect to happen. Will it be easy? No. Nothing that’s truly worth doing ever is. But, now is the time to start. Throughout the month of October, our Stewardship Team is inviting us to turn our priorities, and the decisions we make about how we will use our treasures, over to the Lord. If we do this, and are serious about following as Jesus leads us, then I suspect that, the ways we spend our time, talent, and money will indeed begin to change. More importantly, however, our hearts will, at last, arrive at that gracious, generous place where God intended them to be all along. May the peace of Christ be with you! Lee