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One Thing | Catholic Speaker – Gary Foote

by gary-foote on October 7, 2014

I am a planner, no way around it. I’m always thinking a few steps ahead of how my actions in this moment will affect the outcome of many things yet to be seen. Sometimes this is a great strength of mine. As a Catholic speaker, I travel a lot. When I get to the airport I breeze through security as I already have all of my liquids separated, my belt off and in my backpack, slip-on shoes with no laces on my feet, my cell phone in my bag, and only my boarding pass and drivers license in hand. “Aha!,” you say. “Why don’t you just use your cell phone as your boarding pass?” Well, I’ve seen several people not be able to get their cell phone boarding pass scanned correctly and be ushered to another area to get it fixed while I zip pass them in line and onto my gate. Always thinking one step ahead.

Although being a planner makes me a great traveler, there are other areas of my life that can suffer if I am not careful. As you know, any strength taken too far becomes a weakness. Today’s Gospel account of Martha and Mary found in Luke 10:38-42 is a great reminder to me of this. Luke writes, “Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him (Jesus) and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.’” I empathize with Martha. I imagine her planning in advance for when the Lord might come, having things set in motion to be a good hostess, and wanting to serve Jesus well. I envision she has a plan for the steps that she needs to take in order to have everything go right. Once everyone’s needs are taken care of she can finally sit at the feet of Jesus and be present with Him. Now, if only her “lazy” sister would do her part so that Martha’s plan might be completed faster and she could fully be present to Jesus. She turns to the Just Judge for some support in the situation for justice and equality of responsibilities and is suddenly blindsided by His response, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need for only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

What is your “one thing” today? I truly believe that many of us would respond that our “one thing” is to be in a deep and meaningful relationship with God. But, how many of us will allow ourselves to be anxious and worried about the “many things” we need to get done today before we focus on our “one thing?” Do we risk not getting to our “one thing” like Martha did because we are too focused on everything on our to-do list that we need to accomplish before we set aside time to be dedicated to our “one thing?” Or, will we take a lesson from Mary, forsake everything else (even though those things may be very important), and prioritize putting our “one thing” first? Maybe if we start our day by focusing on our “one thing” everything else will fall into place behind it.

If you need a little encouragement, take a listen to Rich Mullin’s great reminder of this lesson here: My One Thing

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