What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Importance of Knowing What's Important

It's personal reflection time.

I do this every summer - I look back over my life and try to refocus my aim - see where I've been and where I'm going. Tomorrow I turn 51 - so on my birthday I don't just celebrate - I also ruminate.

Here's what I've learned so far about what is important in life.

1. Spending time getting to know God is the "one thing" that's most important!

"One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life. To gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple. Psalms 27:4

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

"Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Mark 10:21

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

I'm very glad that I came to know Christ and realized my need for nurturing my spiritual life right around the time of my 12th birthday. Knowing God has been the one thing that has radically made my life worth living!

I really have a spiritual dimension and it is the most settled and structured part of me even though I can't see it. I really need God. Every day. All day long. Knowing God is life's greatest pleasure. And pursuing God is life's greatest challenge. After 39 years of knowing God I still sometimes wrestle with finding time for God. I jotted down this quote recently from my readings:

"Knowing God is a process that can no more be exhausted than the exploration of the universe."
[Wayne Gordon, pp131-132, "Standing Fast: Ministry in An Unfriendly World" (Chapter on finding time for God)]

I will go on investing my life in the process of knowing God more and more.

2. Living my life with love for others is the next priority.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

It still boils down to this. 1) Love God. 2) Love others as I love myself.

The catch is to nail these priorities every day. Some days I get caught up in accomplishing the tasks I've set for that day and forget to show others the love I feel for them in my heart.

I wonder if I should put "frontlets" before my eyes like the ancient Hebrews did - little Scripture quotes dangling from my forehead?

Well...this year I think I'm just going to focus on those two things: loving God, loving others.

I haven't found anything else in 51 years worth more than that.


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