The One Necessary Thing


We live in an age of distraction.  Pop ups, tickers, instant messaging, live videos, and “dings” on our smart phones demand our attention, or at least we feel it to be so.  It is easy to lose focus when our heads are spinning in multiple directions.  I find myself getting sucked into the Internet vortex and the only way I know out is to put the phone down.  Easier said than done.  Why?  Well, I read the news on my phone, pay bills on my phone, scroll Instagram because well, it’s fun, and check my Twitter feed on what people are saying about politics, religion, social issues, culture, and such.  And then I get into my head thinking about what I think about X,Y, and Z.

You see, I haven’t written much in this space lately because I’ve been doing more thinking, reading, and praying rather than blogging.  This summer I have had the opportunity to write in other spaces, but I have left this blog to rest until I have something to share that would be of some benefit or encouragement to my readers.  I’ve blogged for eight years, and learned much- still learning!  My heart with writing and teaching is to inspire others to cultivate life in Christ in their spaces as parents, citizens, entrepreneurs, teachers, and leaders.  I see all of us as artists, making creative contributions on God’s canvas.  We hold the brush, He guides our hands.  But, it is hard to focus on the canvas with all the background noise of social media and the tyranny of the urgent.

Here is a mental exercise for you.

Ask yourself this question:  What am I most passionate about?  Maybe it is a business, education, family, ministry, a social cause, or something else.  What is your time and energy devoted to?

If you’re like me you may find yourself passionate about many things.  For me, it is my family, but it is also ministry and education.  And often these things are intertwined.  So much talk lately is about platforms as if we need to have one thing to say or be excited about.  For some this may be so, but not for all.

Multiple Platforms, But One Necessary Thing

Whatever your passions are, consider how to live on one necessary thing.  I call it the Matthew 6:33 principle: “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Jesus challenged Martha in her home with this principle when he told her that she was “anxious and troubled about many things” because she was distracted with much serving.  Mary, her sister, sat at Jesus’ feet listening to His teaching, which Jesus called “the one necessary thing” and the “good portion.”

I don’t think Jesus was saying that serving is bad, or doing a lot of different things is bad.  It is that in the serving, working, busyness of life we are to choose the one necessary thing of God’s Kingdom and righteousness.  So, we ask ourselves, “How am I seeking God’s Kingdom and righteousness as a wife?  As a mom?  As a teacher?  As an entrepreneur?  As a friend?  As a minister?  As_________?”

It is not that Mary was doing nothing, she was doing everything that mattered.  Are we doing everything that matters whether we have one platform or three or four?  We need not feel guilty about what is demanded of us at work or at home- it is a balancing act, isn’t it?  If our hearts are set on Christ- earnestly seeking Him, meditating on His Word, praying His Word, working unto Him- then no matter where we find ourselves we can rest knowing that we are doing the One Necessary Thing that when all is said and done will be what will last and what matters most.

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