In Others’ Words: What’s Your Main Thing?

I’ve attended hundreds of volleyball games since my youngest daughter started playing back in fifth grade. And I’ve also taken thousands of photographs.Yes, of my daughter, but of her teammates, too. The setters. The outside hitters. The liberos. The defensive specialists. The middle blockers. The right sides.

One of my favorite photos? When the team huddles up. The girls do this before, during, and after games. And no matter how many photographs I have of teams standing with their arms around each other, I find myself taking just one more … again and again and again.

I wonder what they’re saying to each other when they’re circled up, sometimes with the coach, sometimes without. Maybe they’re encouraging each other. Maybe they’re regrouping when the game isn’t going well. Maybe they’re savoring a win … or facing a loss. 

But one thing is certain: they’re always coming back to the main thing. And what is that main thing? That they are a team. And win or lose, they compete together. 

We can get distracted by circumstances — the wins and the losses in our lives. We can begin to believe the lie that we are alone — and nothing chips away at a person’s sense of worth like stark silence of loneliness. We forget the main thing: the truth of who we are and Whose we are.

It’s important to know our “main thing” and it’s also important to be surrounded by others who believe in and support our main thing so that when we forget, they can remind us and hold us steady.

In Your Words: I know my main thing is my faith and knowing who God says I am. What’s you’re main thing — the truth that you stand on that holds you steady? And who helps you remember that main thing? 






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  1. November 2, 2017, 12:29 am   /  Reply

    Well, my main thing is to be the hardest man alive.

    When a part of me wants to weep from pain and fear, and to be held, I have to shut that down and laugh mockingly at weakness, and sneer at death. “Could be worse; I could be slow, soft and ugly.”

    “Better it’s happening to me, than to some weak suck who’ll cry about how he FEELS. Don’t matter how he ‘feels’. All that matters is what you do.”

    It’s not a bad survival skill; it’s gotten me far further than my doctors thought possible. I may well set a record for survival with essentially untreated pancreatic cancer.

    But it does distance one from humanity. In foregoing comfort, I reject vulnerability, and in vulnerability is found the key to intimacy. Those closest to me respect me, and to a degree they fear me; but none know me.

    The ironic thing is that these pixels that form words make me more accessible to anyone who might care. I have learned a truth, and it is this:

    Duty requires vulnerability.

    My job, as I see it, is to document the path to the grave, and to show that it is not downhill; that glory abounds in the details of the life that precedes the end of earthly life. To do that I have to be honest, and vulnerable.

    Too bad I can’t do that in person.

    • November 2, 2017, 12:53 am   /  Reply

      A wounded heart can take in the Light, while polished steel merely reflects it. A lesson worth taking to heart.

      • November 2, 2017, 6:11 am   /  Reply

        Hmmm. I’m pondering this thought this morning, Andrew.

    • November 2, 2017, 6:11 am   /  Reply

      I know your main thing is to live honorably and courageously and even compassionately as you stare down cancer. And yes, you are vulnerable through the written word — here, and on your blog, and in other “communities” where you share so honestly. You know your main thing — and you live it out loud. T2020.

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