The 1991 movie, City Slickers, was a comedy with the tag line of: Yesterday They Were Businessmen. Today They’re Cowboys. Tomorrow They’ll Be Walking Funny.

Apart from being quite funny, it had a seasoned cowboy, Curly Washburn (Jack Palance) who, in one scene, engage in a very short conversation with Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal).  Curly, in his gravelly voice, delivered this speech:

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 s***.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.

This is one of the most profound statements made, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s***.

Apart from the character requirement to swear, it does tap into a secret of life.

Take Paul of the Bible, he was singularly focused. He was preaching and teaching that Jesus was the Messiah. Nothing got in the way of that:

After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.  There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,  and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.   Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.  When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.
Acts 18:1-5

On the Sabbath, he was in the synagogue preaching and teaching his heart out. But notice that he was also practical in setting about that task. He worked throughout the week, focused on Tentmaking – it provided for his living expenses.

I’m sure that Paul’s conversations were seasoned with talk of Jesus throughout the week and maybe some thoughts and preparation went into what he taught on the weekend … but he was also a good tent maker devoted to the work at hand. Anything less, and his testimony would have been compromised.

In Paul’s case, his Tentmaking never got in the way of his “one thing”.  It was important and it complimented his “one thing”.  His “one thing” was to preach and teach and everything else, was simply a means to that end.

What’s your “one thing”?

Is it lost in your means to an end?

Or, do you know what that “one thing” is and you have neglected your “means to that end”?

I’m sure you will agree, the secret does indeed lie in the secret of being focused on One thing… Just one thing.

Do you you know what yours is?