Like most everyone I know, life has become crowded with so many things. Work, family, friends, church, sporting events (for those with children), tv, computers, dating....take your pick. There is a veritable buffet of items one can pick and choose from to fill those waking moments of the day. Of course, every one of them are an essential part of our lives. I mean, what would we do without work, which allows us to spend time with our families...and then go to church, hang out with friends, minister to those in need...and don't forget watching the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy or, heaven forbid, Desperate Housewives?
Things. Time consumers. Some of them definite necessities. The others just things we enjoy.
And then something happens to make you look at all of these "things" more closely.
The brother of a former classmate was killed this week. That is a story in itself, but I don't want to write about that here. What I want to write about is the fact that it usually takes something as dramatic as this to make one stop and evaluate life. At the funeral home tonight, one of the conversations I was privy to was about this very thing: "Life is so fast these days. We need to stop and spend time with those we love."..."We work hard and try to provide the kids with nice things, but what is all that stuff really worth?" It makes you stop and think why do I go about life the way I do? What is my purpose and reason for existing?
As a person who loves God and strives to live my life for Him, an event like this really makes me stop and consider all the people I know and have known that face these questions without any idea of the answer. Yes...there is an answer. God created us and has a purpose for each of us. Collectively, He created us all to love and worship Him of our own accord. Individually, He has given each of us gifts and talents to be used to bring Him glory. Everything we do should be for Him.
What is life without Him anyway? You can turn on any news channel and see the results of lives lived without God...of people who try to live and have a purpose that they conjure up and fabricate...borne out of their own strength and ideas. James 4:14 says:
You don't even know what tomorrow will bring--what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
What is it that really matters most?
This is a question I have been asking myself recently...even before the tragedy of this week. I say God is most important to me and sharing that with others is important to me too, but what do my actions really say? I have allowed too many "things" to crowd my time and my focus.
I wonder if anyone ever shared Christ with the guy who was killed. I wonder if there was someone in his life who may have been able to relate the truth of God's word to him and challenge him to apply it to his life. Certainly, I don't know the condition of his heart at the moment of his death, but the life he was living seemed to be far apart from God. That thought made tonight very difficult for me.
I hope I never lose my focus on what matters most and as a result, miss an opportunity to share with someone the One who matters most - Jesus.
Time is short. Let's not waste it.