Today is January 1, 2011. New Year’s Day. I’m supposed to write about new beginnings and resolutions and things I’m going to do different/better/more. My first post of the new year should be profound and beautiful – and perhaps make you wipe a tiny tear from the corner of your eye. Okay, this should be easy…
But, here I sit. Instead of deep thoughts, my mind keeps flitting from idea to idea, never resting on any one thing. That’s the state of my life right now. My desk at work is a cluttered mess, here at home there is clutter on my kitchen counters, in my closets, bedrooms, living room…
My time with Jesus has become cluttered, too. I start praying and then my mind spins off on tangents and to-do lists. I’ve got about four of those going right now! There are all kinds of things I need to be doing. My final day at First Pres is in 133 days – and that includes weekends. I’m not brave enough to count only the ‘business days’ left!!
When Jesus started His ministry, did it worry Him that He had only 1095 days (including Sabbaths!) to do what had to be done? My first thought is, Of course not! After all, Jesus was fully God. But, Jesus was also fully human. He was tempted in every way we are. Was He tempted to push further, do more, heal more, teach more? He knew what was at stake. He knew how much the people of the world suffered in their sin and brokenness. I don’t think it’s wrong to believe Jesus may have been tempted to overfill His schedule.
But, Jesus resisted every temptation, including this one. The more I read of Jesus’ life, the more I see that Jesus didn’t just float through life, allowing things to happen to Him. He sometimes left a region even though there were still sick people waiting to be healed. He avoided certain places because the timing was wrong. He pulled away from huge crowds to spend time teaching just a handful of disciples. He even moved in the events surrounding His arrest, trials and crucifixion to bring them to their needed outcome.
How did He do all of that? Jesus first concern, His first focus, His first motivation was always bringing His Father glory by accomplishing His will. Jesus didn’t have to dither about trying to decide. “My food is to do the will of the One who sent Me” (John 4:34). Everything Jesus did was done for that single purpose. Jesus lived a life of clarity, not clutter. All parts of His life brought glory to His Father.
Jesus told the flustered Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.” (Luke 10:41b-42a) Only one. The invitation has not changed. It’s not an invitation to ignore the pressing realities of our lives, but to put them in proper perspective. It is a promise that when we seek God’s Kingdom first, the rest falls into place (Matt. 6:33).
So, for today, One, One, One-One, I am choosing the One thing I truly need. Not because there aren’t tons of other things to be done, but because this One thing matters most. I will choose to ponder the amazing glory of God. I will rejoice in His will being accomplished. When the clutter and lists and fretting start clamoring for attention, I will cling to the promise that by sitting at Jesus’ feet, this One thing, this better thing, “will not be taken away” (Luke 10:42b).