Thursday, December 20, 2012

Back to Basics

"Let all things be done decently
and in order"
1 Corinthians 14:40

I met a microbiologist last week.  At a Christmas party.  And we proceeded to have a very interesting, decidedly unChristmassy conversation.  Unless of course, the Twelve Days of Christmas song includes some number of festive bacteria...

It was a fascinating conversation.  At least to me, it was.  Maybe she was bored, talking about what she does for a living, but I had a lot to learn.  And learn, I did.

We talked a little about the rash of meningitis cases in the U.S. this summer.  36 people died and 500 others were infected from contaminated steroid shots for their back pain.  She said that without any investigation on her part, she was pretty sure she knew how the steroids had gotten contaminated; she could guess what simple precautions hadn't been taken on the part of the manufacturing pharmacy.

Assuming she's right, it made me wonder why those precautions hadn't been taken.  Laziness?  Money?  Time?  Maybe all three.  It's sad, because the precautions existed for a reason. 

Then we talked about germs in the home, staying healthy, etc.  And she said the most important "tricks" to staying healthy are the basics.  Wash your hands before eating and after touching germy things like doorknobs, keyboards and the like. 

Do you remember that piece from years ago, "All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"?  Just a series of very basic things to remember about how to treat others, and how to take care of yourself.  Things like:  Share.  Clean up your own mess.  Don't hit people.  Stuff like that. 

It's just not that hard.  Life is not as complicated as we make it sometimes.  God boiled it down to 10 simple rules, and then when Jesus was on earth, and the Pharisees were pressing Him, He boiled it down even further.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.  

Sometimes we don't do things the right way, because another way seems easier.  Either that, or we're too busy loving ourselves to love Him and others.  So we omit foundational steps, and somehow, in some way, someone pays.  Maybe it's our neighbor, certainly it's ourselves.   And it's just as much a sin to not do something you should, as it is to do something you shouldn't.

He wants us to live a life of abundance.  And He has told us how.  And it's not that hard.

~ "Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea." ~
Isaiah 48:18

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