The Essentials–3 John 1:2

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.–3 John 1:2

Last week, I found myself camped in a field with 15,000 of my closest friends. A few of the affluent folk rented golf carts (at $200 per week) to zip around the grounds. Most of us, however, simply hoofed our way around, walking to the showers, walking to get water and dump the trash.

I prided myself this week on my ability to pack all the essentials for camping four days in my Corolla, leaving room in the backseat for a friend of Tom to have plenty of space. We had it all, food, clothes, tents, bedrolls, a propane stove, and a water cooler. Had we included some sort of canopy to provide steady shade, I’d have said we had everything.

As I strolled around the campground, I noticed many parties with far less than we had. Some didn’t have chairs. Some slept in their cars. A few didn’t have any food with them, either buying or begging their way from meal to meal. Part of me felt inclined to pity these poor sorts, but then I suppose some of the golf-cart riders pitied poor old me.

In the end, all we really need is wellness of soul. Food, water, health, even golf carts are nice, things we might pray for, but they’re not essential. I needn’t pray for your soul if you’re already a believer, for your soul is already well provided for. I’ll pray instead for the things you don’t really need but which are nice to have. But you’re on your own when it comes to the golf cart.

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