“One Thing” One of my favorite movies of all time is City Slickers. It’s about a small group of men, who are from the city, and are looking for an adventurous getaway. They had no idea what they were asking for when they decided to go on a cattle drive in the country. I’m not talking about the kind of “country” you and I know of. The kind of country that lies just outside the city and suburbs we live. I’m talking about “country” as in nothing in the area has changed since Will Rogers was alive. If you don’t know who Will Rogers is,…(sigh)…he was a cowboy. We’ll just leave it at that. Horses, cattle, guns, campfires, and men & women tougher than a Waffle House steak.
Well, these men go out on this adventure and the lead cowboy, played by Jack Palance (who scares the be-Jesus out of me), responds to Billy Crystal’s question, So what’s the meaning of life? Curly (Jack Palance) responds, This, as he holds up one finger. It was his index finger folks! He said, One thing. Crystal didn’t understand and I can’t blame him. Curly’s statement is true. When it’s all said and done, when we peel the banana of life away, something remains…one thing remains. And that one thing is what everything else in our life covers and is fueled by. So what’s your one thing? This will take much thought on your end. It will no doubt be painstaking. Are you willing to discover what your one thing is? I challenge you, even if you think you know what it is already, to look again because you just might be surprised. Our cars and trucks need to be examined under the hood every now and then. It doesn’t hurt, but I sure am glad when I find something early enough to fix before it gets too expensive. Pop the hood. Let’s take a look…shall we?
To find your one thing, you don’t start by breaking the banana in half. That would be too easy ☺. Don’t worry about what you’ll find. What you’re going to find isn’t the most important part of this adventure. There’s a lot of uncertainty and dread, I know. You must get an honest look at yourself. Why? Because deep down, you really do care. Take a look at the following areas of your life.
1. Finances: Where do you spend your money? Who do you spend your money on? Take a quick scorecard on these questions the last six months. Who gets the most money?
2. Time: Where do you spend your time? Who do you spend the most time with? What do you spend the most time doing? Separate the time you spend with your wife from the time you spend with your kids.
3. Friendships: Who are you friends with? Outside of your immediate family (wife & kids), who do you spend time with? What do you do together and how often?
4. Enemies: Who are your enemies? Where do you interact with them? Where do your paths cross? How do you handle these people?
As you answer these questions, writing them down, you will begin to see one of two patterns. The first pattern is that your life appears to be centered on you and/or your family. Culturally speaking, this is a great thing. Biblically speaking it is not. That may sound crazy to some, if not most, of you, but Jesus was very clear about this. God alone should be the center of our lives. Everything else comes in second. Do your finances reflect your devotion and love to God? Does the amount of time you spend with God and others honor Him and bring glory to Him? Do you have friendships with Christians as well as non-Christians? Do your friends have a godly influence on your walk with Christ? Are you transparent about your devotion to Jesus with them? Do you avoid your enemies and treat them as they treat you? Do your enemies know you are a Christian because they see Jesus in you or because you simply say you are?
The second pattern is that your life appears to be centered in Jesus alone. You’re a gracious and free giver to those in need and to the ministry of the church. You spend time daily with God. You spend time, at least, weekly with just you and your spouse. You spend time with your kids…quality time. I have a great resource for parents at the bottom of this blog post. Check it out. You have friendships with, both, believers and unbelievers; with believers in order to share life together and encourage one another in the faith. And you have friendships with unbelievers to share life together and encourage them with your faith. Your enemies may not understand you or even life you, but they have a difficult time repeatedly putting you down because of the respect in which you treat them. You’ve apologized for your end of things and asked forgiveness. Regardless of their answer, you’ve decided to move on. These are characteristics of the second pattern, the one thing that drives all that you think and all that you do. That one thing isn’t you or your family, that one thing is one person, the person of Jesus Christ.
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus gives us one thing to accomplish while we are here on earth…one thing. This one thing is the very reason He came to live on this earth, allowed man to torture Him and crucify Him, and was raised from the dead. Jesus Christ came from Heaven to earth in order to seek and save the lost, you and I. And He paid the penalty you and I deserve so that we could not only have eternal life, but so that we could reflect and extend what He is capable and willing to do in other lost people. We are not obligated to fulfill this Great Commission, as we owe nothing for this free gift of eternal life. We are not in debt to God because Jesus paid it all. However, we recognize the price of that gift and the love behind His gift and we respond to it because we love Him back. That’s all. We simply respond to the Great Commission because we love Him too. We give Him our finances, our time, our friendships, and our enemies because we love Him. Rethink what Jesus did for you. I mean really rethink it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you remember that price and for the faith and strength to fulfill that one thing beginning this day forward. It’s worth it. ☺
Parenting Resource: Chris Spradlin (www.epicparent.tv)