The One Essential of Life


[Jesus said]“Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food . . . Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.” (John 6:27 MSG)


The clock moves on
but God is still,
Hurried flesh knows not his will.

Like Mary, we must turn aside,
deny ambition,
give up pride,
leave our projects,
choose to wait.

We cannot love unless we hate.
We cannot live unless we die.

God will not rule
while we still try.
He will not force us to repent
but soon our days
will all be spent.

Jesus waits.
Time hurries on.
Choose Jesus, now, before time’s gone.

(Poem from, “Heart Connections: Finding Joy through Openness with God” by Jane Ault 2003.)


Last night I couldn’t sleep. I got up and read a few chapters in Paul Tournier’s book, “The Healing of Persons.” In it, he speaks about the necessity of accepting realities and conditions of life, such as the boundaries of time and limits of aging.

I’ve resisted these limits for too many years, priding myself about my ability to keep going regardless of my age. As I read last night, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He showed me I’ve been lying to myself. To believe I am capable of doing everything I did when I was a few decades younger and doing it with as much speed as I did back then is a lie.

Does accepting my present limits mean what I have to offer has less worth? Not at all! The reverse is true. For example, when I accept and yield to speed limit signs, I feel more relaxed. I stop looking around for a police car.

The truth is: Refusing to accept and set limits makes me more limited. When I involve myself in everything, I fail to accomplish important things. What are the important things? There is only one.

In a conversation he had with two women, Mary and Martha, Jesus defined the one important thing in life– connection with Jesus.

Consumed with many things, Martha felt worried and stressed. Focused on Jesus, connecting with him, Mary found joy and peace. (This story is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10.)

Jesus is my teacher. As I stay connected to him, he gives me clarity about everything else in my life. What to do. What not to do. His Spirit is my personal instructor. As I read Scripture, he highlights the words I need for the day.

Jesus is my Creator. As I rely on him, he gives me the strength to do that which is important. Jesus is my Saviour. When I miss my cues and wander off into rabbit trails, he corrects, forgives, and restores me.

Jesus is my constant companion and closest friend. When others I’ve loved have died or moved away, he’s remained. Staying connected with him is the one essential of life.



8 thoughts on “The One Essential of Life

  1. Jane, dear friend I’ve not yet met! These are deep and good and necessary reflections! It is a struggle I share: how to discern what I’m actually capable of, and given by Jesus to do, versus what I may think falsely I’m still able to do. My daughter has just come to live with me, and one of the blessings of this new arrangement is an ongoing conversation about what I can and ought to be doing vs. what she can, and wants to do for me, taking some of the burdens away. It’s a strange new world, aging! So glad that Jesus, the one true, necessary thing, is always near!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Jean. I think it’s wonderful that your daughter is living with you and assisting you in ways you need it. God bless you both as you discuss the details of this new arrangement.
      “To discern what I’m actually capable of, and given by Jesus to do, versus what I may think falsely I’m still able to do” is challenging for me, too.

  2. Thank you, Jane, for this beautiful poem & wise words.
    This is helpful to me, @ this time when I also don’t have as much
    energy as I used to have, and can be distracted by many things.

    It’s important to “Decide what’s important, and do it. Decide what’s not important, and don’t do it.”, as I have read elsewhere.

    I like what you wrote @ when we get off on rabbit trails, that Jesus corrects, forgives & restores.

    God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4)

    Thanks, Jane

    • Thanks for letting me know you have a similar struggle, Joyce. You have always seemed like a high-energy person. It must be frustrating. I appreciate your reminder of God’s attitude toward us. He is truly patient and forgiving when we wander off.

  3. Jane, I am so with you on this. I feel restless when I do not have a full schedule of tasks to accomplish. And I do a lot of things slower. For instance our grandson Paul can run back and forth down the 1/10th mile to the river probably 10 times faster than it takes me! Yes, he is a fast runner.
    I am also encouraged recently to focus on Jesus as my companion and his teaching as I once again study the 4 Bible gospel books. Lord help me to know how to follow you at this stage of my life.

    • “Ruth, I am with you in not reading as much Scripture nowadays as I used to. The Gospels and the book of Proverbs and some of the Psalms are my primary focus this year. Reducing content helps me focus better, slow down, and listen to the Spirit. 

      I can’t keep up with my grandchildren, either. And it seems like only yesterday I could outrun them (when they were toddlers  ) Now, with my aching joints and muscle, I feel as if I am the toddler.
      I’m so thankful that Jesus walks with us no matter what our pace is and adjusts his pace accordingly. “

  4. I too think I am still 30 and can complete tasks with same vim and vigor that I had back then. Jesus keeps reminding me it’s much more important to prioritize those things in my life that bring me closer to Him.

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