In 1953, one year before I was born, Lionel Train Company had a promotional campaign entitled “A ONE-TRACK MIND!” Here is a picture of the promotion. Lionel touted the fact that young boys were fixated on—and almost obsessed about having a Lionel train and track set.
So my question today is—is it good to have a one-track mind?
When I became a Christian some people in my family, and others thought I was way too focused on God and Christianity. They told me several times that they didn’t want to hear from me about their need for God.
I also worked many years in a community mental health center, and sometimes in meetings with other mental health professionals, I heard the words, “religiously preoccupied” as it related to specific clients. These professionals shared their concern about clients who in their words were going “off the deep end” with their religious views—and their concern that the religious preoccupation would take those clients further into unreality.
Psychologists tout the benefits of having a well-rounded mind with various interests. While they understand that some of our greatest inventions and creative performances come from people that are obsessed with a focus on one thing--they readily discuss the pitfalls of those obsessions.
Reading Acts in the Bible has given me some perspective about having a one-track mind about our Christianity. I’m sure that Paul and the apostles had other interests that they talked about among themselves and with other people. But the writers of the Acts never made it evident. Everywhere the apostles went they shared Jesus with people in large crowds—and small gatherings. Nothing interfered with their purpose of sharing the gospel with everyone they met. Acts 28:30-31 sums it up:
“Paul stayed two whole years in his own rented house (in Rome). And he welcomed all who visited him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.”It could be said of Paul from those verses that he had a one-track mind focused, obsessed if you will, on sharing the love of Jesus with others. Do you and I have such a one-track mind?