What really matters? Its an interesting question if you think about it. Might I suggest we spend a lot of time on things that really don’t matter that much. I just finished a weekend where I watched a few hours of football. I enjoy it, but its football. A game. In the busyness of life we do a lot of things that need to be done, but do they matter. I’ve been trying to take some time off today, so I’ve gone through some stacks of things piling up, did a little laundry, re-organized a couple of shelves and cleaned out others. Needed to be done! Feels good that I did them. But do they matter? Not very much, I think.
So what does matter? The answers may vary. What matters to you may not matter to me, and vice verse. On the other hand, perhaps we can agree on some things. People matter. Yes indeed. Life matters. Today we received the news of the death of a loved one who succumbed to the horrible disease of alcoholism. He matters. God created him. Jesus died for him. His death matters. So did his life.
As I reflect on things I realize that the most important things in life, the things that truly matter aren’t the things we often focus on. Nope, we’re out there trying to make more money, buying bigger things, getting ahead or keeping up in life. Or we indulge ourselves in the things of this world, sometimes because we can and often because they temporarily mask our pain, our loneliness, our shame, our insecurities, our disappointments. But in some moments, on some days God, through His grace, brings clarity to life. Once in a while God reveals those things that truly matter. In my reflections, I’ve had such a day. Now, our lists may still be different. What matters is that we give it some thought and some time and some effort.
So, what matters?
A phone call from my kids.
Time with my grandson
A hug, a smile, an I love you from my wife.
Quiet time with God.
Reading a book.
A short, easy walk.
Giving someone encouragement and hope.
Giving of myself to another or to a cause.
Resting in God’s grace.
Breathing in the cool, fresh, fall air.
Time with friends.
Being able to be there for my family and friends.
God’s word. God’s grace. God’s forgiveness.
Well, the list isn’t all-encompassing, but its a start. This morning I stopped at Churches United for the Homeless to drop off a check from the Lighthouse. There were lots of people in the lobby with many needs. I dropped the check off quickly so the worker could get back to work. I stopped and said good morning to a few folks. They smiled. I smiled. God’s wonderful creations, I thought. Facing a bit of bad luck. But for the grace of God go I, I said. But for the grace of God go I. They matter.
I left. Said a prayer. And thought to myself, that really mattered. That really mattered. Thank you, Lord.
So, take a moment to think, reflect and maybe make a list today. And for those of you, my brothers and sisters in life who are battling the diseases of addiction and mental illness, this post is dedicated to you. The valleys are deep and the darkness is blinding. The struggles can seem never ending and life can be filled with despair. You may doubt it today but I want you to know so hear me clearly: You matter. You matter to God. You matter to me. Your life matters. Your struggles matter. Your tears matter. You hopes matter. Your recovery matters. Never, never, never give up. You matter.
See you at the Lighthouse,