In his book, The Passion Promise, John Avant relates a story that came out of Desert Storm. The storm was blowing and Colonel William Post had a job to do. He was in charge of receiving all of the incoming supplies for the ground forces. Among the supplies were the tons of food that came in every day.
One day, Colonel Post received a message from the Pentagon requesting that he account for forty cases of missing grape jelly. The Colonel sent a soldier to investigate the mysterious missing jelly; the soldier reported back it couldn’t be found. Colonel Post made his report and assumed that would be the end of it. After all, it was just grape jelly. But, remember, the government was involved.
The Pentagon continued to press him, pointing out they needed to close the books for the month, and jelly just couldn’t vanish like that. Finally they ordered him to find the jelly!
The Colonel had had enough by then and sent back this terse response: “Sirs, you must decide. I can dispatch the entire army to find your missing jelly or I can dispense the entire army to liberate Kuwait, but I can’t do both!” He never heard back from them.
The issue of focus and priorities is a constant battle we all face. Jesus said we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ...” (Matthew 6:33). Paul said, “this one thing I do” (Philippians 3:13). That’s why, at Crossroads, we try to stay laser focused on two priorities: Connecting people to God and to one another. We do a lot of things, but the only reason we do any and all of them is to help us accomplish those two priorities. That’s not the only thing at Crossroads, but it’s the MAIN THING.
Vance Havner used to say, “We’ve got to keep the main thing, the main thing.” And that’s important, because ...
… when you’re in a war, and we are (Ephesians 6:12), jelly, even grape jelly, can never be the top priority.
© 2016. Barry L. Cameron
(Source: Avant, John. The Passion Promise. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah, 2004. 48. Print.)
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Today, more than 8,000 people call Crossroads their church home. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.