Well, the thing is, most of us don’t have just one “thing” any more.
This idea was triggered by a quote I read from D. L. Moody: “Give me a man who says, ‘This one thing I do’ and not,’These fifty things I dabble in.'” I might be one of the most hopeless cases of “these fifty things” in the land. I confess my own frustration with being such a multi-tasker – out loud. I suppose I could focus well into just one thing, but I like to do different things. Obviously. Or else I am the biggest ADHD person in my family and, to me, this is absolutely normal.
In the course of any hour of any day, my mind is juggling thoughts and work in my “day job”, my ministry, my school assignments, my daughter’s upcoming wedding and all that must be prepared for that special event, care plans for my youngest child, any and all of my mothering and household duties . . . Man, I feel frustrated just by writing that list! Is it even possible to have “this one thing I do”?! Perhaps it is my womanhood that answers, “No,” and explains why Moody said, “Give me a man . . .”
Surely women are used to wearing multiple hats, but I think our current environment has led all of us – men and women – into this jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none pattern of working. Technology is available to the masses and moves us at warp speed. Specialists find themselves in danger of losing jobs they have enjoyed for years, requiring new training and career paths or long periods of unemployment, or the resignation to accept under-employment. We feel an insane amount of pressure to keep up with the world and our own marketability.
Moody’s quote made me feel badly about myself for being so “one thing”-challenged, but I believe his key phrase is a reference to Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which, in context, really means something entirely different. In 3:13, Paul indicates “this one thing I do” as forgetting what is behind and focusing on what is ahead. It is a message to focus on our ministry-calling and where it leads.
Have you ever written your life’s mission statement before? I have tried it – once or twice – but I failed to keep it handy. I’m going to find my last statement and see how well it states my life mission as I perceive it now. Pondering and developing a personal mission statement will take some time and some real soul-searching. Having a statement will also lead to a need to spend time goal-setting based on the mission. Then, of course, there is the continuous work of turning away things that don’t fit the mission. The thing is, that “one thing” drives all my other things. So . . . this one thing I do!
3 thoughts on “The thing is . . .”
It is amazing that as I get on in years proverbs, the one-liners that served as admonition from my parents to us children seem to be making more and more sense. Having to have my fingers in every pie, a part of every campaign, whatever the cause, and the years wasted on Heaven-knows-what that I was diligently involved in are mere phantoms. Oh yes it filled up the time and seemed so ‘au courant” but now they are ghosts and shadows after having found the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, the real reality.
On thedailylily.com we are blogging about the centering in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, making this “the One Thing I Do” FIRST! Then it seems the rest just falls in place. We read about that a lot; it’s in the Scriptures but until we really discipline ourselves to do it it is ever evading us. True, multi-tasking may be necessary at times, but the distractions and musings and uncontained thought patterns take our focus off THIS ONE THING I DO and takes our minds and hearts off our mission statement and the commission that God has given each of us.
Jesus said it well in Revelation….return to your FIRSTS. Return to your FIRST LOVE. Do the First things first. THIS ONE THING, then I DO!
Thanks, MG! Good to hear from you! What do you (and all my friends @thedailylily.com) think of using a personal mission statement to keep your daily life and activities focused on our mission in Christ?
That is an excellent idea…..using a personal mission statement. I believe our friends at http://www.thedailylily.com under Sara’s excellent leadership is moving us toward this objective, again! It is so easy to take one’s eye off the goal….just a little at first, then more and more as the tasks multiply, until the mission is obscure, the time has fled and we are not healed.
Jeremiah wrote, “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable?” Jeremiah 15:18
Thank you for your encouragement and thought-provoking blog.