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Don’t forget the main part

Every summer I’m visited by a scene from the past when my daughter Victoria was 5 years old.

Having taught her to swim the year before, her grandfather sat on a lounge chair to watch Victoria swim. She jumped into the pool, but never surfaced. Her 7-year-old cousin Tiffani grabbed her arm and pulled her towards the ladder as her grandfather dove in and made, in his words, a heroic rescue. (Just ask him. He’ll describe it in great detail.)

Once on the safety of the concrete deck, he asked Victoria, “Did you forget how to swim?”

“I just forgot one part.”

“Yes,” her oldest sister Monique said. “You remembered to bring your beach bag, your towel, your goggles and your sunscreen. You just forgot the main part; you forgot how to actually swim!”

Sometimes I forget the main part. I remember to go to church, pray, read the Bible, worship… to do the things expected of a Christian. But what about the most important part?

When Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37,38

I use 1 Corinthians 13 as my checklist. Love is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, or boast; it isn’t proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. There’s more. Love keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in evil, but rejoices with truth.  Love always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails.

Victoria’s PawPaw didn’t hesitate to jump in and save her when she was drowning. When I forget the greatest commandment, I pray God jumps in, takes me aside, and reminds me how to love.

 

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.