The One Thing

Here’s another rough draft from Freshman 15, the book on which I am feverishly working.  This comes from the first chapter, entitled “The One Thing.”  Tell me what you think!

When I browse through eBay, I often wonder how I shopped before this innovative website came into existence.  Before eBay, where could I find a Mr. T t-shirt with the words, “I Pity the Fool” plastered across the front just a couple of clicks away from the original Duck Hunt version on the 8-bit Nintendo?  Only here can one find the finer things of life.
Currently, this company has an advertising slogan that says, “Whatever it is, you can find it on eBay.”  It’s probably true.  Whatever the “it” is in your life that you could be possibly be looking for, this is the best possible place to find it.
Just like we all have an “it” that we want to buy, we all have an “it” for which we are living our lives.  It might be a person that you just can’t get out of your mind.  Maybe it is the ever-elusive American Dream.  Approval may be the one thing that you spend your whole life pursuing.  You might desire to make a significant impact on the world before you die.  We all have our specific “it.”
Whatever “it” is, “it” better be worth it.

Because if you spend your whole life pursuing it, the value of your pursuit better be worth the price of the only life you’ve got to spend.

Your college life will be strikingly similar to eBay.  Whatever it is, you can find it in college.  If you are looking for unadulterated freedom from your parents in college, look no further.  If you are searching for a party that starts your freshman year and will not stop until you graduate (four, five, or six years later), look no more.  If you desire to find the love of your life one week and find another love of your life the following week because your first love of your life turned out to be a tad too clingy, the dating options for you will be plentiful.  If your heart’s desire is to graduate with honors, you can do it with the right amount of cramming and lack of sleep.
Whatever it is, you can find it in college.  But whatever it is, it better be worth it.
Just take a trip into your school cafeteria and you will see the division of people separated by the ambition that drives them.  You will see a table of jocks brimming with testosterone.  Each individual player’s one thing is to be the greatest student athlete who sets the school record and gets drafted in order to get paid tons of money to play a sport they would play for free.
Then there’s the table with the computer geeks.  They commit identity theft simply because they can.  They can hack any computer.  They can write any program.  It’s hard for them to carry on an intelligent conversation because they can’t type to the other person.  The ambition at this table might be to get a well-paying job developing websites or video games.
A good many tables over you find the sorority girls.  They are wearing matching shirts and carrying the same line of bags.  Their hairstyles are strikingly similar to one another.  They not only look alike, they talk alike.  Some of these girls’ ambition is to be the most popular girl on campus.
Whatever it is, you can find it in college.  And whatever it is, it better be worth it because you only have one shot at college.  And you also only have one shot at life.  So how are you going to spend your life?
I entered college unsure of my answer.  I eagerly anticipated a fast paced college experience filled with doing whatever my heart desired.  Serving in many different organizations in high school, I also desired to be a leader known on my college campus.  For the first time in my academic career, I actually wanted to succeed in my classes because I understood my performance would dramatically affect my job opportunities after I graduated.  I also was hoping that by the time I graduated, I would be dating a girl that could stand me enough to marry me some time in the near future.
But I also entered into college a Christian.  I committed to follow Jesus when I was seven years old.  The following eleven years was full of advances and setbacks, but I was entering college still desiring to love Jesus better.  The problem was that if I chose Jesus to be my one thing, the “it” for which I was going to live, he was going to affect all that other stuff.
I knew I couldn’t live for a few of those things.  It would be impossible.  I had to choose.  But whatever I decided to make my one thing, everything else in my college experience was going to have to submit to that priority…

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.

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2 Comments

  1. Randy Beams

    Sounds good

  2. shannon petrus

    I am apparently out of the loop. I had no idea you were working on a book. I love this excerpt and it is so true. Many out there are living for the “it” of the moment and never find the everlasting “it”. Good job….God’s plan for you is great!!!

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