These sum up the cultural narrative that most of us have been born into and formed by. It has even infiltrated our Christianity.
We make it about so many things, when Jesus said, “There is one thing needed.”
We stay at the surface level thanks to our little mind-numbing, look-at-the-pretty-lights, magical devices.
We think we have to lighten our Lord’s load and pick up the slack for the Creator of the universe like it all depends on us for the events in the book of Revelation to get carried out correctly.
The longer I journey with Jesus, the simpler I find Him to be. The ease of His yoke seems to be that He gives us just one thing at a time to focus on, not a hundred. He knows we are easily overwhelmed. In Mark 10 He tells this rich young dude, “There is one more thing you need.” This guy came to Jesus humbly, asked him what He needed to do, and listened for the answer. Not a bad formula, if there is one.
All over Scripture we see Jesus giving a very manageable bite-size nugget tailored to the need of each person. And that nugget, that one thing, is something Jesus sees as so jugular that it is actually responsible for many things. In the case of this rich young guy, Jesus only asked Him to sell his possessions. That’s it. That one thing. But he had many possessions. I don’t know if they did estate sales back then or what, but I’m guessing it would take a minute to sell all you have. It would for us. Probably have to do Craig’s List, ebay, yard sales, give-aways. Not sure we could get it done in a week even.
Jesus told a lawyer to love God and others.
He told Martha to listen to Him.
Before His ascension, He told His followers to stay in the city until they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
He told the disciples to follow Him.
He told Nicodemus He must be reborn (born from above).
He told Zacchaeus to get out of a tree.
A Samaritan woman to call her hubby.
Lazarus to arise.
Before dying, He told the disciples to remain in His love.
After rising, to come and eat breakfast!
Peter to feed His sheep.
So we’ve got love, listen, stay, follow, be reborn, get down from the tree, call your husband, get up, remain in His love, feed the flock, and my favorite–have breakfast with me!
As you can see, we’re not talking’ rocket surgery here. One simple thing at a time that will have a domino affect on many areas of your life. And I’m not sure we even have to do all these things listed here–these were mostly specific to these people where they were. Let’s be careful thinking we have to do very single thing mentioned in the Bible.
What is Jesus asking of you right now?
In the very awesome book The Power Of Habit, they talk about keystone habits. These are those habits that are responsible for many other habits. It’s important to identify these in order to save yourself from expending the wasted energy on so many things, or trying to muster energy you don’t even have. Though they can be unique to each person, there are some keystone habits that are more universal. An example they give is regular exercise. Studies show that people who exercise regularly generally eat better, smoke less, and are more effective at their jobs than people who don’t exercise regularly. So instead of trying hard to eat better, smoke less, work better, you could choose to focus only on your workout rhythm. By concentrating the bulk of your energy on that one thing, you will automatically excel at other things without having to give much direct energy to all of them.
I believe one of these universal keystone habits in Scripture to be the Practice of the Presence of God:
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee because he trusts in Thee.
I keep my mind on God always; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Pray without ceasing.
-I Thessalonians 5:17
Remain in My love.
We see it throughout the Word, and if you’re always thinking, loving, praying to, and relying on God, then you’re most likely doing some good in the world, am I right?
What was it Luther said? Love God with all your heart, and then do whatever the hell you want.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria