This time of year is one in which I do a lot of personal reflection. Both my parents passed away in the autumn months, about two years apart, as did a family friend. It’s also something about the vibrant changing colors, as the trees give their last victory shout.
A thought-provoking question
This year, I’ve been seized by a deep searching for meaning to the things we do each day. One question rises above all others in my mind: what really matters most in the end?
Everything we do will need to be done again. The bills we pay will recur. The once well-stocked fridge will eventually need refilling. Our savings will eventually be depleted. What really matters?
There are routine answers we all might give without a second’s thought. Faith. Family. Career. Health. All are good answers. But I believe that whatever our thoughts dwell upon the most shows what really matters the most to us.
What we really treasure
Jesus once said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21 NIV).”
I read that to mean that where my time is, where my mind is, whatever consumes me is truly what I value. I may verbalize one thing, but my thoughts and actions will truly show the truth.
Sometimes what we value isn’t always good. Sometimes it’s not what we want to value. For example, if toxic relationships consume our thoughts, then perhaps that’s what matters most to us. If political or sectarian divisions are on the forefront of our minds, then perhaps that’s what means the most to us. If sorrow consumes us, then perhaps that is what we are clinging to the most.
Make every moment matter
The fact that our life has an ending point is a thought we often push aside. We’re busy dealing with today’s issues or pursuing our dreams and don’t like to think about the inevitable. But accepting the temporary nature of life should cause us to carefully choose what we allow to matter most.
Wherever possible, we should shift our thinking so that what matters most is what is good. Things that are wholesome, strength-giving. Things that lead us to a better understanding of who we are in the moment. Things that let us successfully run the course that has been set for us.
We cannot control all circumstances. But it is so important to remember we can control where our hearts lie.