One Thing

The apostle Paul knew what his “one thing” was. Do you?

You might recall the movie “City Slickers” and the little dialogue between Curly and Mitch, as Curly holds one finger in the air.

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? It’s this.

(He’s clearly referring to the single finger he’s holding up.)

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean a thing.

Mitch: But what is the “one thing”?

Curly: [smiles, and says…] That’s what you have to find out.

Authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan talk about “The One Thing” in their book of the same name. I “borrowed” the above illustration from the first pages of this excellent and very thought-provoking book. The sub-title of the book is “The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results.” Their contention is that “extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus” (p. 10).

So “go small”, Keller and Papasan say. And quite logically, chapter one concludes with this statement, “When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. And that’s the point.”

Well, the apostle Paul had it. He knew his “one thing” with great clarity and certainty. He actually takes it one step further than Curly did — he shares his one thing. And it’s clear that his one thing is intended to be everyone’s one thing.

What’s the one thing that we need to discover? What’s the one thing we need to stick to? What’s the one thing that, once you have it, you don’t really need one other thing?


If you have Jesus, you have all you’ll ever truly need. The reality is, Jesus is the One Thing behind all extraordinary results.

“Go small,” like Paul did, and you’ll find yourself staring at Jesus.

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, August 5, is 1 Chronicles 19:1 – 22:1, 1 Corinthians 1:18 – 2:5 and Psalm 91:1-8.

Lord God, Heavenly Father, direct my heart to you. Help me to always keep my focus on your Son, Jesus Christ. He is my “one thing” and the source of all the blessings in my life. Thank you for sending your one and only Son to redeem me. May I know him as my one and only path to forgiveness, grace, mercy, peace and life.

Header image based on "One thing" by Quinn Dumbrowski, CC By-SA 2.0