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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

One Thing Is Needful

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. – Luke 10:42

It snowed this evening. An entirely unexpected snow, at least for me. I have a DVR now, so I rarely watch live television. This means I miss important announcements - like the fact that a storm is headed for my town.

But in other ways, this little electronic box has been a great blessing. I no longer channel surf, looking for something worth watching. I have more time to be productive.

Tonight before I let my dogs out, I looked out at my back deck, covered with a thick layer of snow. When I flipped on the light, the stark white carpet caught me by surprise, the light catching individual snowflakes shimmering like diamond dust. It reminded me of how 2008 stretches before me, untouched by failure or unmet goals or harsh words.

Then again – I write this on January 1.

I haven’t written resolutions this year. For some reason, if I do and fail to keep them, the guilt overwhelms me. Instead, I have one goal, and that is to set my mind on God. Period. The apostle Paul advised the Colossians, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). If I do that, will the rest of my life fall into place? Am I committed to write? I depend on God, my creative God and Creator of all, to inspire me as I write, and give Him glory for it. Do I need to lose weight? Um, yes. So, I remember that my body is God’s temple. I should take care of it. That means a better diet and exercise are in my future. Do I get snippy with people? I won’t forget that Jesus served others, and expects me to do the same. How can I be like Jesus without loving as He did?

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I know and you know life is not simple, but instead of making a list of ten, or even five, resolutions, maybe the one goal, to set my mind on God and things above, will be attainable.

I suppose if I wanted to add some more to my list, I could strive to keep the additional list Paul gave to the church at Colossae in 3:12-14. “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Whew! I think that should about cover it!

When Jesus had dinner at Martha’s house, she got so caught up in being the perfect host, she forgot to focus on her guest, Jesus. When she complained to Jesus about all she had to do, He told her only ‘one thing’ was needful. What was that one thing? She had set her mind on earthly things while her sister, Mary, focused on Jesus, as He no doubt spoke of things above.

Did you make resolutions? Tell me how in this world you manage to keep them? And if not, how about writing down one goal? Surely you and I can focus on one thing. Even with my tendency toward procrastination and scattered thinking, I think I can hone in on one task for 2008. If you had to pick just one goal, what would it be?

Prayer: God, help me to never take my eyes off the one thing that’s needful – to love and serve you unreservedly, wholeheartedly, and joyfully. I glorify and thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
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