Just One Thing

I try to vary what I write about, but for some reason I keep going back to movies.  I don’t really know why that is – I truly don’t watch a lot of movies.  But in spite of that, I guess the ones that I do watch leave an impression – or I just latch onto a thought and let it marinade in my mind more than most.  Either way, those scenes often stick and drive many of the thoughts that I have.  So with a preface like that, here we go with another one…

Today we take a trip in the “Way Back Machine” to 1991 and the movie City Slickers starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance.  Crystal plays Mitch Robbins, a middle aged man who has lost sight of himself and his purpose who goes on a cattle drive vacation with two buddies.  While on the trip, he meets Curly, a rugged old cowboy played by Palance.  Curly’s job it is to lead the drive and keep the people safe (or maybe it was to keep the cows safe from the people).  Either way, Mitch gains a great deal of life perspective from his brief interaction with Curly.  In particular, there is one conversation which I copied off of www.imdb.com that stands out (Note: I took the liberty of editing this.  My apologies to the purists but this is my blog).

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? one thing
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean {a thing}.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.

The secret of life is one thing.  This was of critical importance to Mitch, and I dare say that we can take a lesson from the wisdom within that statement.  How many of us run from thing to thing at breakneck speed without ever gaining a real handle on the things we’re doing?  It isn’t that we can’t do it all – but what’s the breaking point between doing it all and doing it well?  From time to time, we find ourselves put into these types of situations: overworked with more to do, not enough time to match all of our interests.  If you described these people’s lives in terms of a swimming pool, it would be a mile wide but only an inch deep.

So what does it take to bring depth to our lives – to give us a stronger focus, a clearer perspective, and a more purposeful direction?  Christ’s words in John 15:5 say it simply:  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  So our one thing is Him – the one who created us, delivered us, and destined us for great things.  Now don’t confuse this to mean that life cannot bring other pursuits.  Just understand that for those pursuits to reach their maximum potential, to bring about the fullness of God’s intended blessings for us, we must align our thoughts, decisions, and actions with the will of God.  Or as Paul stated it in his letter to the Colossians,  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Consider the many things that create your life: your history, your job, your family and the obligations you have to them, the hobbies that help define you and give you balance, the man or woman you love – everything that contributes and completes you.  Now approach all of these things by moving your focus in meeting those needs into your relationship with God.  What’s the result?  Strength, focus, contentment, and depth manifested in the blessings of God alive in all that we do.

The secret of life is just one thing.  Stick with it and watch God do the rest.


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About day1of1

Author, Speaker, Educator, Husband, Father of two and follower of the One.
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