Tuesday, January 02, 2007

One Thing

I kind of wanted to jump on the bandwagon at Laurel Wreath's place for the New Year's meditation thing, but I didn't think I had anything deep or wide enough to sing about, so I'm doing an abbreviation on the theme. I'm calling it "1 Thing." It's a small phrase, but if I were re-naming my blog, I would call it 1 Thing because of what it represents in Philippians 3:13-14:

. . . But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I joke about my feeble memory, and sometimes I am seriously worried about what lies ahead for me medically because I'm already memory-challenged. Interestingly, though, my mind is weak mainly in certain areas. For instance, I can't seem to memorize scripture very well, and I often forget to buy bagels for the school reading club breakfast, for example. But my absent-mindedness is selective. It skims over the good stuff and pores over the bad. On a daily basis, I catch myself rehearsing the times I failed, sinned, embarrassed myself, hurt others, insisted on some selfish idea, etc.

I think I know why I get stuck in the condemnation loop. See if this analogy makes sense to you:

My sin is like an intruder who broke into my home and assaulted my family or me. The intruder may have been apprehended and taken away forever to jail, but every night, I think I hear him, or see his shadow, or I re-trace the horror of the details of the invasion, and I am afraid again. The truth may be that he is gone, but the memory still has power over me.

I know the truth about my mistakes is that the Lord, in his "compassions that fail not," has forgiven me--my sins are blotted out, dissipated, conquered, by his power. However, he does not erase the occurrences from my memory. Ironically, painful memories and regret can help me understand my weaknesses and help keep me from falling again. But the sin memory can also hold me captive and beat me down like a slave.

However, the truth is, I'm NOT a slave to my past behaviors. The truth is, God apprehended my sin and took it away forever. I am not defined by a shameful list of secret and not-so-secret sins. That's why when I feel that old heaviness coming on, I need to remember ONE THING >>> to forget what is behind and press on toward my destiny, the reason I was created--to glorify God and enjoy him forever. After all, God "thought me up;" I didn't have any say in my existence. For some reason, he wants me to "be."

And if 1 Thing in Philippians 3 isn't enough to encourage you, see if these examples of 1 Thing speak to your heart:

Psalm 27:4 ... One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

Luke 10:42 ... but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Mary chose to focus on Jesus; Martha, her sister, was fretting about hostess responsibilities while he was in their home. He wants a relationship with us.)

2 Peter 3:8 ... But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (Do we really think about eternity very often? Are we patient concerning God's timing in answering prayer?)

John 9:24-25 ... A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. "Give glory to God," they said. "We know this man [Jesus] is a sinner." He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!"

I'm asking the Lord to break through the distractions and blindspots of my life this year, to help me focus on relationships and eternity, and to press on to be who he created me to be. Boil it down to One thing that I need in 2007: Jesus.


Nancy said...

I love your writing about "one thing."
Glad you're joining the walk to Oregon. It took me a minute to figure out that Flynn is a city. :)
I'm on the Colonial Parkway, 14 miles outside of Williamsburg.

His Singer said...

Wow, that's one of my very favorite passages of all time. And you did SUCH a great job with it!

Susanne said...

Linda, this was so good. Jesus is the one thing that we need and then the rest falls into place, doesn't it? I remember a song from year's ago that said "I want more of Jesus, more and more and more." I think that is a theme that is touching a lot of hearts out here this year.

The Human Napkin said...

Oh, Linda, your words really spoke to me this morning. So often I find myself dwelling on the past, remembering my sins and feeling depressed. I'll remember this the next time!

Oh, and thank you for your sweet comment about how young I look. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. And, in case you were wondering, I just celebrated my first 29th birthday. LOL! And you don't look old enough to have a daughter my age, seriously.

Barbara H. said...

I've been perusing your blog since seeing it referenced on She Lives. What a wonderful study on the "one thing" needful. Amen!

Roxanne said...

I came back to do some more digging through the medicine cabinet so to speak. . .and I'm SO glad I did. You have summed up beautifully what I have been trying to say regarding guilt--past sins or missteps no matter how minor--you wrote beautifully about this topic and blessed me with your words. I may need to link to it if that's okay with you.