I studied martial arts for a number of years. One of my more recent instructors, Ed Kuras (Hi Sensei!), used to tell us:
"I’m going to teach you just one thing… how to take this hand and punch somebody with it. A rear-hand reverse punch: I can make you the best in the world at it."
And he did. No matter how my opponent tried to hit me, kick me, or tackle me, I knew that I could respond well with my right hand. Sensei Kuras (Sensei is a title similar to ‘teacher’) had reduced his art to its essence… a perfect punch. It was my Sensei’s One Thing.
Man what a principle! I was journaling this morning, thinking about all that Sensei Kuras (and my other instructors) had taught me when this question struck me: what is my life’s equivalent of my right handed reverse punch? What is the One Thing of my life? (Kind of reminds me of that scene from City Slickers when Jack Palance’s character tells Billy Crystal the meaning of life and holds up his finger… it’s just one thing; if you figure that out, the rest is easy.)
For me, it all comes down to this: I want to help everyone I can love God and each other. When I parent, when I preach, whatever I do, it is to make this principle live in others. Knowing my One Thing helps me say no to everything else; it helps me remember why I do it; most importantly, it keeps me centered on who I am, and who I’m called to be.