Monday, April 8, 2013

The Secret to Life

This week your Kingdom Bloggers will be writing about a movie that spoke to them spiritually.

One of my favorite movies is City Slicker with Billy Crystal.  I love Billy Crystal.  Maybe it is the New Yorker in  me that relates to the New Yorker in him.  I love his movies.

I actually remember the first time I saw the movie at the theater in 1991.  Mitch Robbins, played by Billy Crystal is having his mid-life crisis and decides to go on a cattle drive.  During the drive, he means Curly, raspy cowboy played by Jack Palance.  I grew up during the days of Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, Wyatt Earp, Rawhide, Bonanza, Big Valley and a host of other "cowboy shows."  I had a holster, a six shooter (shot caps), a cowgirl skirt with fringe, boots, and a hat.  I wanted to be Annie Oakley. I had the right middle name - Ann.  I tried so hard to learn to twirl and shot or spin a rope.    This movie had everything.  Comedy, relevance, and a flashback to my cowgirl childhood.

I literally held my breath and gasped when Curly tells Mitch the secret of life.  Curly held up his "pointer" finger and smiled.  Mitch said what? your finger?  Curly said ONE THING.  Instantly my thoughts went to the scripture in Luke 10:42.  This is the story of Mary and Martha.  You know, the one where poor Martha is so busy trying to be a good servant but gets frustrated with her sister's lack of help.  She asks Jesus for help and instead of sending Mary to the kitchen, He reminds Martha that one thing is needed and Mary has chosen it.  I have always felt sorry for Martha in that story and have a lot to say about that story, but not this time.

Eventually Curly says to Mitch that he has to find that one thing for himself.

I thought "that'll preach."  And it has.  I can't tell you how many times I've started a sermon with that scene from City Slicker.  Here it is:


Sometimes I go to Luke and talk about the one thing being worship - other times I go to the story of the
"Rich Young Ruler" in Mark 10:21 and focus on compassion for the poor and the ministries of social justice. But my favorite is to go to the second chapter of Luke. The birth of Jesus is followed by his presentation at the temple.  There are two people that we don't hear much about in this story -- the first is Simeon, the second Anna.

Both of these people had one thing - for them it was to see the Christ.  Both were moved by the holy spirit - both were advanced in years.  Both had been waiting a very long time.  Anna had been a widow after seven short years of marriage, she was now 84 years old.  She never stopped worshiping at the temple.  Probably ignored by the throngs of important people, perhaps shooed away by the priests - nevertheless, she knew there was one thing she had to do, one thing she'd see and experience before she died.  Same with Simeon - both blessed the Lord, prophesied about Him, and were forever remembered in the pages of scripture.  That gives me hope.  I don't think I've had that one thing yet.  I'm still waiting.  Not as faithfully as Simeon and Anna, but still waiting, hoping, praying.

One thing - sometimes I wonder if my life really is reduced to one thing.  I don't know.  I do know I am still waiting for something.  I know Curly is right - there is one thing and when you find it, you are satisfied and all the puzzle pieces of life fit.

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