Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Main Thing

 I really wanted to do something special for my mom's birthday.  We were in Benton, a town near Little Rock, AR, visiting some long-time friends, the Emersons. August fourth (day before Mom's birthday) we went on a a little trip and ended up not getting home till about four am...crazy, I know! So, the next day, I got up in the wee hours of the morning (10 a.m.) and wandered into the kitchen with the Emerson's 8-year-old daughter, Jayla. I really wanted to start my mom's birthday off right with a good breakfast; I finally decided on waffles, one of her favorites. My mom was still in bed, and I couldn't find any waffle or pancake mixes, so I went online to find a recipe. Then I confidently strode into a brand new kitchen, sure that I could handle a simple meal like waffles. (Forget that I was 17 and had yet to discover my inner-chef.)

I stumbled around that kitchen - it took me ages to find every single ingredient.  Finally I found what I thought looked like flour.  It wasn't marked, but I didn't see anything else that looked like flour. I got everything together and started mixing it up in a bowl. The lumpy mess didn't look promising. I fired up the waffle iron, and poured some of the mix on. After just a minute or so, I knew that something wasn't right. The waffle mix was seeping from the sides of the waffle iron, as well as smoke. I tentatively opened up the iron to discover a flat, gooey mess. I was sick. My wonderful birthday breakfast for my mother was not turning out the way I had planned at all. It was then that I realized that the substance I thought was flour was definitely not flour.  I later found out it was corn meal.  (Ok, you can quit laughing now.)  As you all know, waffles without flour don't turn out too well! 

This reminded me of a simple lesson Jesus taught in the Bible. He told the Pharisees, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone."  Matthew 23:23
Jesus is saying, "You've got the minor details, but you forgot the main thing!"  Oh yes, the little stuff is important, too.  But, so often, if you get the main thing right, everything else falls into place.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets."  Matthew 22:37-40

Lesson learned:  
When you're in the kitchen, don't forget to put flour in your waffles.
And while you're on planet earth, don't forget to love God, and don't forget to love people. 

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