In the movie City Slickers, a city slicker played by Billy Crystal tries to sort out his life by going west and hanging around a crusty old cowboy named Curly, played by crusty old veteran actor Jack Palance. As they’re riding along on their horses, Palance asks Crystal, “You know what the secret of life is?”
Crystal says, “No; what?”
Palance holds up his index finger and says, “This.”
Crystal asks, “Your finger?”
Palance replies, “One thing. Just one thing. That’s the secret of life.”
Crystal asks, “What’s the one thing?”
Palance replies, “That’s what you got to figure out.”
There’s a familiar acronym, KISS. It stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I like the way David Livingston, the Congregational missionary to Africa, put it: “I place no value on anything I possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God.” One of the core practices of Christians through the centuries — one of the spiritual disciplines practiced through the ages — is simplicity. So let’s Keep It Simple, Saints (I’d rather be called a saint than stupid, wouldn’t you?).
Jack Palance’s character told Billy Crystal’s character that he had to figure out what the “one thing” was for him. For Billy Crystal’s character, that seemed to be a formidable task. Jesus taught what that “one thing” is.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Jesus in Matthew 6:33)