You Had One Job!

Gomer looked down dejectedly as the Barn castigated him for failing in yet another seeming simple task.  He had one job, yet failed at that singular thing.  I know the feeling.  One thing and couldn’t even get that done!  Now, you may be one of those hated overachiever types that always lands on your feet, but the vast majority of folks are not that way.  If you continue your prosperous ways, a horde bearing torches and pitchforks will be at your door.  You will not survive the coupe, and I’m just saying it’s easy to criticize folks with failures you don’t have.  Until you do.  Seriously, we all can identify with the swing and miss.  Once lost, opportunities may not come again.  While we should not maintain an “all or nothing” mindset, it is also not wise to underestimate the importance of lonesome endeavors.

Life is complicated and gets complicateder.  When our children were babies, I looked forward to the day we would not need to buy diapers and formula.  They were so expensive!  I found (as all of you know) that those necessities were displaced by other greater and more costly necessities.  Our multifaceted existence does not allow for singularity, and one thing follows another.  It’s easy to lose ourselves in the daily shuffle, and the immediate will drive out the important.  What we accomplish may not be connected to our core values though we espouse living virtuously.  This many-sided way of living crowds our thinking and prevents mindfulness.  Not that we choose it.  Life is forced upon us, and few will live it solely on their own terms.  You do not control everything in your life, but you have more control than anyone else.

Simplify.  The notion takes different forms with different folks, but the idea remains the same.  We are tempted to believe that we can’t unload responsibilities or rummage when we, actually, are unwilling to do so.  Yet, there are only so many hours in the day and so much stuff you can wear.  The truth is we don’t have time to do the things that matter if we are keeping plates spinning on pointed poles- neither of which are needed.  Even blessings become burdens if we don’t know when to unload.  Our houses are cramped because we are always bringing things in with little out the door.  I know such runs roughshod over your sentimental soul, but I really don’t mean to be harsh.  Most of the things we can’t do without we have been doing without for years.  That is, if by doing without we mean those things are of any real use in practical living.

Prioritize.  We can only divest ourselves of a certain number of things before we face unflinching realities.  Still, not all non-negotiables are of the same degree.  In former years, I would hear preachers assert, “Duties never conflict.”  That is not my experience, and I suspect it never has been true.  The diligent may be hard-pressed to do diligence, but it has always been so.  In the end, we will need to place something at the top of the list and keep it there.  It’s not that there are no exceptions to the rule, but to do otherwise lumps us with the many having no moral compass or sacred ground.  Things are easier when we clarify values.  It’s more difficult to operate an automobile in the darkling world or morning mist.  The bright sun may cause us to squint, but, at least, it shows us how to get where we are going.

The Apostle Paul informed that the one thing he was going to do was strive to lay hold on Christ.  Paul was a man with multiple responsibilities and a full life, but his priorities were set.  Even simplified goals involve multiple things, but the course of life should hinge on a relative few points.  These salients are provided for us in God’s Word and in certain terms.  We are not rudderless in the pursuit of goodness and godliness as the main tenets of Scripture appear time and again throughout the biblical record.  As we imperfectly follow the perfect path, we find that even a circumspect spiritual life must rank disciplines.  In the end, there will be no excuses for failure to comply with our merciful Judge.  Understanding this, we live our lives minded that we not neglect the great salvation and the occupations describing our duties.




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