There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken 78away from her.” Luke 10:42
Have you ever thought about it? Jesus told us there was only one thing worth being concerned about. The Psalmist said there was only one thing he asked of the Lord (Psalm 27:4). Paul said there was one thing he did—forget what was behind and press forward to what is ahead (Philippians 3:13).
Is it possible that scripture is telling us something important about life? Is it possible that we are easily overwhelmed and need to focus our minds on only one thing?
I told you a couple weeks ago that Roy and I are embarking on a health journey. I started off great—eliminating sugar, gluten, and eating natural foods! I was doing such a great job.
Until the weekend came.
We had a birthday party. And a pool party. Suddenly, I had fallen off the band wagon, derailing all of my great plans for a quick weight loss. I ended the week exactly where I started.
And that’s when I went back to the drawing board.
I began to contemplate small changes. Small changes that will eventually add up to life-changing decisions. Consuming more water. Eating more fiber. Getting more sleep. Adding physical activity.
One small step at a time.
Focusing on only one thing at a time.
I sat down with Roy and asked him what one thing he wanted to focus on, and we both chose drinking more water.
It may seem like a small thing, but it’s the small things that eventually add up.
I think any time we embark on a new journey, we have to break our goal down into manageable parts.
Want spiritual growth? What is one thing I can do to move forward spiritually? Listen to music 24/7? Get up 15 minutes earlier? Find a reading plan?
Want to lose weight? What is one thing I can do? Drink more water? Eat more fruits and vegetables? Eliminate diet soda?
Want to change careers? What is one thing you can do? Update your resume? Focus on learning a new skill? Take a course?
Want to improve your financial situation? What is one thing you can do? Set a budget? Automatically put some money into savings every pay period? Start tithing? Pay off debt?
Want to get unstuck? What is one thing you can do? Hire a coach? Write down your goals? Create an action plan?
You can apply this principle to any aspect of life. We have to remember that we are human, and we can easily become overwhelmed. But when we break things down into manageable tasks, we see goals accomplished, we mark things off our list, and we gain momentum. It is a psychological trick that can help us change our lives completely.
What journey are you starting? Here’s a few thoughts on how we—and yes, I say we because I am in this journey with you—can begin moving toward our goals.
First, determine what one thing you are going to focus on. You may focus on this one thing until it is a solid habit. Plan on focusing on that one thing for at least a month until you begin to add another change.
Second, set realistic expectations. We sometimes get caught up in this grand plan and then get discouraged and quit when we don’t accomplish our goal. For me, I would love to run a marathon! I ran a half-marathon several years ago, but that was before spine surgery. If I run today—even a short distance—I get a massive headache. I have to adjust my expectations. Could I walk a marathon? Could I take up swimming or biking? Could I bike long distances? What is realistic for where I am in life?
The same goes for our spiritual life and our finances and everything else. We have to be realistic in our goals. Is it realistic to get up at 3:00 am and spend three hours in prayer? Maybe for some people, but it’s not for me. Getting up 30 minutes earlier would be realistic for me. Is it realistic to save $1500/month toward my goals? Maybe for some people, but not for everyone.
No start is too small. Just find a realistic goal—for you!
Third, remember change does not happen overnight. Change is a process. It’s a journey. If you fall off your plan, give yourself grace and make the decision to refocus, restart. There’s no failure—unless you just completely quit. You may be like me and take two steps backwards before you take one step forward, but remember you took a step forward.
Finally, take it all to God in prayer. Remember, God is on your side. He cares about every little aspect of your life. If you are concerned about your weight and your health, so is He. You are His temple! If you are concerned about your finances, so is He! He wants you to test Him (Malachi 3). Are you concerned about your spiritual life? He wants nothing more than to wrap you in His arms and draw you near. Sit with Him. Be still before Him. Take your cares and concerns to Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:8).
Whatever you do, determine with me what your one thing will be!