But one thing I do

Huge dream. Big plans. Complete outline. Clear structure.

That’s what I was thinking when I started working on the idea for this website. But that’s not how it’s starting.

Instead, we are starting where most people started following Jesus. With a small, simple, uncertain but curious turning toward him.

People do get way more focused, way more committed, way more understanding in time. In fact, the title of the post comes from Paul, writing in the book of Philippians:

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

And I know. Those two verses raise many questions. What’s the goal? and what’s the prize? And does that mean this is a race? And who are we competing with?

There are lots of verses that provoke lots of questions throughout the Bible. But the starting point in following isn’t always with the Bible.

It’s with following Jesus.

A quick story to start the year.

John the Baptizer is with his followers. (John 1:35-30) Jesus walks by. John says, “Look, the Lamb of God.” Two of the followers start walking behind Jesus, literally following him. He turns around and says, “What do you want?” They say, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” He says, “come and you will see.”

And they spend the day talking with him.

What if that is our one thing? What if the one thing that we wanted to do, that we focused on, that we committed ourselves to doing, was to see where Jesus lives?

Not that we’ll be there. Not that we will always stay focused. But what if we set about following Jesus?

Would he say, “what do you want?”

10 thoughts on “But one thing I do

  1. Rick Dugan

    Hey John …

    Really looking forward to what you write here. With so much fragmentation and disintegration in our lives, Philippians 3:13-14 brings some coherence and re-integration. While these verses may not tell us *what* the prize is, it tells us *where* it is – in Christ Jesus. It’s more about where we are than what we get.

    Blessings and Happy New Year!

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  2. Anna

    And how would we answer if he said, “what do you want?”
    I want to say I would answer, “you, more of you.”
    But I know the truth
    Somedays I would want an easier path
    tangible things
    shortcuts
    I want
    more days of “you”
    and less days of “me”

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  3. Jon Swanson

    I have now turned off the comment moderation. Sorry.
    If it had been off, anna would have been able to see rick’s comment,
    which says that, because the prize is in relationship, maybe Jesus would live where we do.

    Maybe that doesn’t help. I mean, sometimes the shortcut we want is away from where we are rather than right back into the middle of all the people we know. But somehow, I think, looking at Jesus helps.

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  4. Anna

    Of course, we know that He *does* live where we do. But the issue becomes are we paying attention? are we looking at him or looking at ourselves?

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  5. Rob

    Anna –

    That’s it for me. Yes, we know, but do we acknowledge…

    Today, my answer to “what do you want?” is a regular smack on the head and a “hey, pay attention!” đŸ™‚

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  6. rbee

    Scott Peck prefaces his book “The People of the Lie” with the the following acknowledgment to Jesus, “a pleasant place to shelter”, and in the Eagles song “Lying Eyes” there is a line “that every form of refuge has its price”. My wife and I have found over time that both statements are true. We are finding in the person of Christ His refuge is much more appealing. Looking forward to the sojourn with you. Happy New US in 2009.

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  7. Jon Swanson

    so, question for Rob and Anna. (this rob, not anna’s robb).

    when we are talking about not paying attention to Him, is it like not paying attention to our spouses and/or our children?

    Because there are hours and days (at least) that I am not paying attention to them, that I am not acknowledging them. And I need to attend.

    And I wonder whether we make more of the Invisible/visible difference than we might. Maybe if I attended more to the people I can see I would be more aware of the Person I can’t see.

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