The One "Essential"

By Rich Edison  |  May 30, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic people are living under stay-at-home orders in an attempt to “flatten the curve”, to slow the progression of this deadly virus. Only “essential” businesses are allowed to stay open, resulting in hardship and loss of income for thousands. My question is, “What makes a business ‘essential’?”

Now, obviously hospitals, fire departments, police departments and grocery stores are essential and I applaud the men and women who daily put themselves at risk to provide us these much needed services. They are heroes, one and all.

However, some of the other “essentials” don’t seem to make a lot of sense to me. I mean how are tobacco shops, liquor stores, or cannabis stores “essential” businesses? How come the liquor store on the corner is allowed to remain open, but our churches must remain closed? Something doesn’t add up here.

When it comes right down to it, much of what we consider “essential” has no real value at all. We spend our lives rushing from place-to-place, trying to make ends meet, striving for success (whatever that is) and we end up missing out on the things which really matter, things like time with family and friends, stopping to smell the roses, or, the best thing of all, sitting at Jesus feet.

The problem is our priorities are all messed up. Unfortunately, this is not a problem unique to our modern world. It has always been this way.

Luke 10 tells of a time when Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha. Determined to make a good impression, Martha scurried around the kitchen, preparing a meal and making sure the place settings were just so. Meanwhile, her sister sat in the living room at Jesus’ feet, savoring every word which fell from the Savior’s lips.

Finally, Martha had had enough and, bursting into the room, she complained to Jesus, “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has been leaving me to do all the work by myself?“

With a twinkle in His eye and a touch of sadness in His voice, Jesus replied, ““Martha, Martha, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! But there is only one thing that is essential. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-42 CJB)

This coming week, as you deal with all the “essentials” of life, don’t forget the “one thing that is essential”, spending time with Jesus Christ. Time with Him is never wasted. If you make Him your top priority this week, you’ll be amazed how all the other “essentials” just fall into place.

Happy Sabbath!


Rich Edison is a writer, speaker, and Physician Assistant, who, whether he is working with patients, speaking in public, or writing for his blog,, strives to daily bring a little hope, inspire positive change, and point people to Jesus.