The Main Thing...

In a few days there's a birthday party I can't be at. There's an old quote that says we should always "make the main thing, the main thing." Too many of us are being distracted in the midst of the present crisis by things other than "the main thing."  And what is the main thing? Well, surprisingly as important as battling Covid-19 is, the virus isn't the main thing.  Though I think if we are all motivated by the main thing, we'd be more successful in the fight. The main thing would help us remove debate and barriers to behaving in and responding with what needs done to help one another in fighting the virus and the impact it's having on us all -- including those of us who will never be infected by Covid-19.

The main thing would lead us to treat each other kindly, to give the other guy more consideration, and to lay aside petty political disputes so together we can help those who are suffering -- now.  The Message paraphrase of the main thing reads like this, "If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love." (1 Corinthians 13:1-7a)

It was a simple word play; one I learned when very young, all about how to show love and have JOY --(J)esus first, (O)thers second, and (Y)ourself last.  It's about loving the life Jesus sacrificed himself to provide. Loving others enough to stay home, stay healthy, and not participate in giving the virus any opportunity to spread. Loving others enough not to hoard goods and materials, instead making sure there's still some on the shelf for the next person. Loving one another enough to call and check on neighbors. Loving our families, and yes, ourselves, enough to cover the cough, wash our hands, clean surfaces, and stay home and stay healthy. My grandson's second birthday is coming up in just a few days. I cannot be at his birthday party this year. But I love him enough to put all these precautions into practice so I can be there to help him celebrate his third one.  I love him.  And that's the main thing.