Do The Obvious Things First

I met a friend of mine at a restaurant in Korea. He was smoking when a waitress asked what we wanted to drink, He ordered plum juice, and then turned to me and said, “Plum juice is good for your health.” I smiled because his remark reminded me of something Brother Jin Soo Lee (who went to Korea to be director of the national cancer center) said. He noted that the efficacy of certain fruit juices have not been well established. Thorough scientific research has yet to be done on the potency of these juices. Even if they turned out to be beneficial you would need to drink gallons of it to get a measurable benefit. Still, people pay extra money to buy drinks that contain only a minute amount of fruit. Plum juice certainly wouldn’t help my friend at all unless he stopped smoking and started exercising. If he really cared about his health, he should take care of the obvious things first.

I receive a lot of ads for health food in the mail, promoting certain foods or supplements. They usually don’t have demonstrated scientific data on the quantity required to get the benefits advertised. Or how long one needs to take these things to see a difference. Or how much improvement one can reasonably expect. All they include is suspicious vaguely related “research” and personal testimonies. I wonder how many people buy these expensive products without doing the obvious things first, such as quitting smoking, drinking less and exercising regularly.

The same goes for diet. The surest way to lose weight is to exercise and eat less. Instead, people argue whether a diet without meat is better or a carb-free diet is better, all the while eating more than they should. They should concentrate on the obvious – eat less, exercise more – and fine tuning later.

The tendency to ignore the obvious and pay too much attention to the trivial can be seen in Christian walk as well. God’s greatest commandment is clear: “Love your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.” His great commission is also clear: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” But some ignore these two obvious commands and complain that they can’t find God’s will. Some ministers ignore these obvious commandments and attend myriad seminars, hoping to improve their ministries. I think they’re confused because they fail to do the obvious things first. If they pay serious attention to these two commands it will be much easier for them to live according to God’s will and do ministry that pleases God.

Let us do the obvious things first.

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