Faith Matters - Making the main thing the main thingA small drama played out while waiting in line at the movie theater box office. In front of us was a family with three children. Frustrated with the long line and antsy kids, the dad suggested Mom take the kids to the concession and buy theater goodies while he stayed in line to buy the tickets.
By: Kent Stillson, Pastor, Alexandria Echo Press
A small drama played out while waiting in line at the movie theater box office.
In front of us was a family with three children. Frustrated with the long line and antsy kids, the dad suggested Mom take the kids to the concession and buy theater goodies while he stayed in line to buy the tickets.
When the man arrived at the window, he requested the tickets, pulled out his wallet and a distraught look appeared.
The man stepped out of line, saw his wife and kids approaching laden with pop and popcorn and pleaded, “I need $2 more for the tickets.” His wife’s response was not what he wanted to hear. “I spent all I had at the concession stand.”
There was a moment of panic on his face. I reached in my wallet and quickly offered a couple bills.
I know the man heard my offer, but in embarrassment, ignored it. He gathered up his family and stormed out of the theater. The image that stays in my mind is of three bewildered kids, hands filled with treats, leaving the theater without seeing the movie.
This family’s disappointing movie outing is an illustration of how many of us live. We get so caught up in the small stuff, so lured by the snack shop of life, that we miss the main event.
This unfortunate episode helps us evaluate whether we keep the “main thing” the main thing in our life. Look at the way you raise your children, go about your daily work, participate in your church and community, spend your free time. In these, are you merely eating popcorn and drinking soda, or are you getting to the main event?
Jesus was asked several times about the main things of the faith.
What is the greatest commandment? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30)
What is the main thing to be his follower? “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
What was the main event in Jesus’ life? Jesus told his disciples three times and the New Testament describes it in chapter after chapter: Jesus’ death and resurrection. Everything else he did – miracles, wise teaching and healings – are peripheral to Jesus’ death and resurrection. (I Corinthians 15)
I felt badly for the family at the theater. Poor planning and the lure of the concession stand caused them to miss their reason for going to the theater. We all can learn from their misfortune. Make the main thing of life the main thing.
The tough part is to determine what the essentials are. A good start is to interact with two or three safe and well-balanced people to discuss life and priorities. Be in relationship with family. Allow for quiet reflection time. Turn to God and God’s Word regularly to keep focused on the main thing in life.
Had the family communicated about their resources, they wouldn’t have left with only junk food.
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Kent Stillson is a pastor at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Alexandria. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.