There is a famous scene in the movie “City Slickers” in which Jack Palance’s character Curly Washburn, the tough trail boss, turns to Mitch Robins (Billy Crystal) and asks the question: “Do you know what the secret of life is?” He then holds up his index finger and says: “It’s just one thing”. Mitch Robins responds by asking “What’s the one thing?” Curly answers with: “That’s what you have to figure out.” From that moment on the band of dude ranch city slickers set out to discover what “The One Thing” is. They know it must be important but have no idea of what it could be.
Jesus talked with His disciples about “The One Thing”. It’s the true secret of life. You can find it in His final instructions to them just before He went to the cross. John records the scene for us:
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 NLT)
In the movie, “The One Thing” was a mystery for each man to discover for himself. Jesus however is very clear that “The One Thing” is about a personal relationship with him. He is the giver of life and the secret of life is found only in Him. Not everyone has heard this message however. People all around you are still trying to discover the secret of life for themselves. They are searching for “The One Thing”. God has positioned you in their life to help them realize that it’s not a mystery to be solved but rather a truth to be embraced.
As Christian leaders, we must first embrace the truth of “The One Thing” for ourselves in order to truly live it out. We can do NOTHING of eternal significance without the power of Jesus Christ working through us. When I think of living life “connected to the vine”, I think of the difference between a snorkeler and a SCUBA diver. A SCUBA diver can go deeper and farther because he is connected to an air supply. The snorkeler is working from just an occasional breath.
In your relationship with Jesus Christ, are you more like a snorkeler or a SCUBA diver? Do you only have occasional encounters with Him or are you going deeper and further with every breath? Keep “The One Thing” in mind today as you lead your team and influence the lives of those God brings across your path. Stay connected to Christ and He will do great things through you.