In today's culture we are choosing between a deluge of options and opportunities. We live in a fast-paced world that is fast paced in part because the quality choices that present themselves are so numerous. Yet we are keenly aware that we are not satisfied – not entirely happy. We hear the ache inside that tells us there is room for more in our lives.
Why are we not full in a world that provides so many good things? A nice meal with those we love is a treat that seem as if it should satisfy. The idea of shopping for, giving, and receiving gifts seems exciting. Being invited to be a part of something bigger than ourselves makes us feel important and wanted. However, even with all of these things, the emptiness still remains; and so the search continues.
The choice between the power of options or the power of singularity presents a quandary that can certainly lead us into great satisfaction or great despair. We approach our lives truly trying to make the best choices. We weigh out the options and then choose the one that offers the best solution to the perceived problem, need, or want. But often all those available options, however good they may be, won’t fill our deepest needs. A new outfit will not make us into a better friend, and a new car will not make us more successful. Our choices, like a slice of pizza, will only satisfy us for a moment.
It is as if we are asked to choose whether we will live our lives equipped with a thimble or a strainer. If we buy into the idea that we must experience all the world tries to sell us, then we will by nature pick the strainer approach. We will pour all of life through it, seeking to find something to bring life and joy. We are really good at persistently chasing after life and sifting through the options left in our strainer. Yet soon we will be empty once again.
The problem is that we are searching for the elusive treasure floating in the water. What if it isn’t the treasure that is most valuable, but actually the water itself? If the water is most valuable, then the strainer is perfectly designed for failure. What is most valuable slips away while we are distracted by what is left behind. Would it not be better to have a thimble-full of what is truly satisfying than a large strainer full of all the trash and rubbish that was caught up in the water?
Once you find the one thing that is truly worth dying for, then you have also found the one thing worth living for. This singular thing will inform and clarify every choice. This one thing will provide direction, energy, and real hope. While pursuing it may necessitate saying no to other things, this one thing – if it is really the true one thing – will provide a purposeful, satisfying, secure life. It will do so because it will connect us to Christ and, thereby, to real life. This is the power of singularity to simplify the real world and satisfy our souls.