Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 16 - That One Thing

Watching movies is a hobby that I have enjoyed my entire life. I do not typically watch movies strictly as entertainment but I focus my attention and listen for its intrinsic message. It’s not always about seeing famous people, gazing upon beautiful faces, hearing the musical scores, or even the story line.  For me, I get wrapped up in good dialogue.  Maybe it’s the wordsmith in me, but I love a well-planted nugget of truth within the context of ordinary dialogue. What speaks to me most is when a movie has a memorable quote, which teaches a complicated life lesson in one simple comment that has been worked surreptitiously into the dialogue.  When this happens, something inside of me jumps and immediately tries to settle it into my permanent “favorite movie quotes bank”. The rest of evening I am usually rolling the thought through my mind to discern its truth and its application.

My most recent ones came to me last night during family movie time while watching Brave.  There were two that jumped right off the screen and into my thoughts for processing!  One came at the very beginning and the other came at the very last moment of the movie, which is often where that golden nugget can be found.  We hear Princess Merida say at the beginning, “ There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it."  Her final quote in the movie is, "Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one's destiny intertwines with many others. It's the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led.” I am still chewing on this one!

One of these favorite, quotable nuggets came in the 80’s in the movie City Slickers.  Most of you probably remember it.  Mitch, Billy Crystal’s character, is out on the range with Curly, the rough cowboy who teaches the city slickers a thing or two about life.  

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean [#*@#*]
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what *you* have to find out.

As I stated in the last post, we can’t say anything, or create anything, that has not already been done.  “That which has been is what will be.  That which is done is what will be done.  And there is nothing new under the sun.  Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new?’… it has already been done in ancient times before us.” Ecclesiastes 1:9,10   Jesus looked at his followers, just like Curly did, and said in essence, “One thing. Just one thing.  You stick to that and the rest of it doesn’t matter.”  “’Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’  This is the most important, the first on the list.  But there is a second to the set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37-40  

 His disciples continued teaching "that one thing” throughout the New Testament.

The whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love others as you love yourself.’” Galatians 5:14

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Galatians 5:6  

Love means living the way God commanded us to live.  As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.” 2 John 1:6

 “Let love be your greatest aim.” 1 Corinthians 14:1

 “Keep company with God and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us…Love like that.” Ephesians 5:2  I love that last line, "Love like that."....You see how Jesus did it?  Love like that, not cautious but extravagant.

On our twentieth wedding anniversary, my husband gave me a continuous string of fresh water pearls that was at least 30 inches long. I can wrap it around my neck three times, leave it long, tie it in a knot or any other creative way that hits me.   I remember opening the package while we were seated at the restaurant and, as I pulled them out of the pouch, they just kept coming and coming and coming until my arm was straight above my head trying to hold them up in the air!  The next day I was telling a good friend about the pearls and she said with a smile on her face, "I just love it when a man can love extravagantly."  Extravagant means to exceed the limits of reason or necessity, profuse, lavish, lacking in moderation or restraint, excessive.  Does our love look like this?  Paul says, "Love like that."

Rick Warren says, “Life is all about love…its what matters most…. Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love… It is in loving that we are most like Him.”  This is our purpose.  As we love others, we will discover our unique purpose, but love is our universal purpose.  It really is this simple:  Love God, love others.  Life boils down to this…. that one thing.  When we get to heaven, I doubt God will ask us what we got done, but He most likely will ask us how well did we love.  Don’t just find time, make time, squeeze time, or work in time to practice the skill of loving others, but make it a lifestyle, a part of who you are, that one thing that motivates everything you do. Its easier to keep your eyes straight ahead, and not get distracted looking to the left or to the right, when we only have “that one thing” in our view.

 One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean [#*@#*]☺

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