The Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is really only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it—and I won't take it away from her" (Luke 10:41-42 NLT).
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 TNIV).
In the mid-life crisis cult-classic film, "City Slickers," Curly (played by Jack Palance) turns to Mitch (played by Billy Crystal) and asks him if he knows what the secret to life is. The dialogue that follows goes like this:
"No, what?" Mitch stammers.
Then Curly holds up one finger and says, "This!"
"Your finger?" Mitch questions.
"One thing, just one thing." Curly emphasizes.
"That's great, but what's the one thing?" Mitch asks.
"That's for you to figure out," Curly responds.
Then, we remember Jesus' comments to Martha about "only one thing worth being concerned about." We also recall the apostle Paul's autobiographical statement, "One thing I do!"
Our souls feel the truth: each of us was made for "one thing" — one God-determined, God-pleasing, thing. And to find out what that "one thing" is for us individually, we've got to sit at the feet of Jesus.
When we lose sight of what our "one thing" truly is, we distracted by many things. We become all circumference and no center. We run from task to task, never really understanding where our orienting center is. We lose track of the "why" behind the "what" of each day. We don't have a way of prioritizing and ordering our task lists and our life's goals. We become buried under an avalanche of "to do's" and appointments without a reason or purpose for the whole burdensome schedule.
So how do we find out that "one thing" we are supposed to do? "That's for you to figure out," Curly said. However, Jesus tells us differently.
Jesus said the "one thing necessary" was to sit at his feet and learn from him. He also taught his closest followers to train others to do the same, "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20).
So, as much as I'm glad you read online messages and seek after God's truth by reading from all sorts of soures, I want to remind you that all of it — the devotionals, articles, and even books by your favorite authors — are only supplemental.
We've got to sit at the feet of Jesus. We must fill our souls with the stories of his life and the teaching from his heart by reading the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We need to walk with him, listen to his teaching, and marvel at his miracles. In coming to know him better, we will find him gently nudging us, revealing new insights to us, and opening doors of opportunity for us as we live out that "one thing" God made us to do!
So let's go and spend time like Mary, at the feet of Jesus, listening and learning and finding the "one thing" we need to do to honor God. Let's live that "one thing" that the Father made us to be.
How do you try to listen to Jesus in your life?
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