What Really Matters

It’s pretty safe to say that a larger-than-we’d-like-to-admit percentage of our days are filled with things that don’t really matter.
TV shows…
Video games…
Empty conversations…
Social media…
You get the idea.

I’m not saying these things are all bad and should be avoided at all costs.
I’m just saying that in the grand scheme of things, most days, more time is wasted on things that don’t matter than spent on things that do.

That begs the question: What does matter?

I’ve been confronted with this question in my own life recently.

We are set to begin summer break this week (North Carolina starts and ends their school year later than many states), and having spent the past 10ish months with a room full of 5 year olds who are full of questions about everything you could possibly imagine, I’ve seen that every question they have is important to them.
They are learning and soaking up all the knowledge you’re willing to give them. Trivial or not, they just want to know all.the.things.
We’ll often ask them leading questions to get them to think and reach their own conclusions. Those little wheels start turning, and they’ll turn around and ask more questions because now they’re interested and want to know why or how.

They ask questions about animals and nature and space and the way things used to be in the “old days” (which could cover anytime from the 1700s to the 2000s 😨).
Some questions are easier to answer than others.
Sometimes they ask something we may not have an answer for.
I can’t tell them how their lives will turn out or why their dad left or why some people get sick and die before they grow up.

To their little minds, all these questions matter. They’re all important.
As I’ve watched them grow and ask and read to find out and learn, I’ve been amazed.
They’ll walk across the stage on Thursday and receive their kindergarten diploma with a head full of answers and knowledge they didn’t have a few months ago.
This will tell them and their families that they have learned everything they were expected to learn in kindergarten and are now ready for first grade in the fall.

By far, my biggest struggle with working in public education this year is that for all the things they know and have learned, we’ve failed to teach them what is most important.
We’ve failed to teach them about Christ.

Were I given the opportunity, I would sit them all down tomorrow and tell them that while all the things they’ve learned about reading and writing and math are important, the most important thing they could ever know is that Jesus loves them so much that He died for them.
I’d tell them that we are all sinners and that conflict they experience between choosing do the wrong thing or the right thing is proof of that. We all naturally want to do the wrong thing and sin. We aren’t “good people” who just need to be reminded that we can do good things, but our souls are black and stained with sin, and apart from Jesus saving us and making us a brand new person inside, we’ll never be good enough for heaven.
I’d tell them who Jesus is and why He came – to save us from our sin.

Because HE is what really matters.

For all the busyness and hectic lives we lead, for all the vacations we take and money we spend, for all the time spent in front of a screen, and for all the drama and arguments we entangle ourselves in over social media….I’m afraid we’ve missed it.
What good does it do our children and the people around us for us to envelop ourselves and waste our time on things that don’t matter and will have no eternal value whatsoever?
Is it most important for them to see that we stayed busy with work and never had time for God’s house or His Word?
Or for them to see all the family  vacations we took and money we spent buying things we couldn’t afford just so we could look like we had it all together,  but never made the souls of our family a priority?
Or for them to know we LOVED our favorite sport or tv show or game, but were indifferent to things of God?
Or for them to get on social media and see us in the middle of another big, hateful debate while we ignorantly try to defend our “spiritual” position?
Are these the most important things to us?

Friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ is what really matters.
Our lives should be consumed by and reflect our Savior.

I’m not saying don’t work or be busy. That would be foolish. I’m simply saying make time for what matters.
I’m not saying don’t take vacations or spend money on your family. I’m just saying keep your priorities in order. Make sure they are introduced to Jesus before they are introduced to Mickey Mouse.
I’m not saying don’t enjoy football or basketball or Lord of the Rings. I’m saying don’t invest all your excitement and energy on a tv screen or sports arena and neglect the things of God. Children shouldn’t be able to say they often saw us in front of a television, but rarely with our Bible.
As far as social media arguments go, no one needs to hear our opinions. They need Jesus. Charles Spurgeon said it best: “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion. Unchain it, and it shall defend itself.”

Don’t let all the distractions of this world take our eyes from what is most important.
May our lives tell those we love that Jesus is all that really matters.

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