Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Will It Matter?

On Sunday afternoon , Vic and I went for a hike up our mountain. It was a beautiful day and we hiked for a couple of hours. I was sooo pleased that I was able to do it virtually without pain ! (for those of you who may wonder, I have rheumatoid arthritis - it makes me grateful for things you may take for granted !)
Come see .... through my eyes .... the mountain path....

the wild flowers......


the wooden stairs......


and the view of the valley through the trees.
It was cool when we started and so I took my favorite light jacket. I soon took it off and Vic carried it tucked into the back of his back pack.
It was only after we got home and I wanted to hang up my jacket that we realized it was gone - it must have slipped out of the backpack strap and fallen onto the path. Although my husband immediately backtracked our hike and went back again the next day ... it was no where to be found.
It was strange , since we had not seen a single other person on the mountain. We knew the last place we had seen it - he moved it to get at his camera.
Maybe an animal took it home to their nest or den?

I was sorry to lose my jacket but it was just a jacket.

Yesterday I was talking to a lady from our complex and in our conversation she told me about her close friend who had lost her dog. This friend had never had children and she loved her dog. One day it was accidently killed by a passing car. She was devestated and declared her life was over! She fell apart and sought the care of a psychologist. It took her 15 long years to get over the loss of her dog.

I was thinking about the loss of my jacket , this woman's loss of her dog and I thought about how people prioritize the events of their lives. I thought about some people we knew who were recently enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon. Their teenage son went out to ride his dirt bike and he never came home. He was accidentally hit and killed by a passing vehicle.

We have all heard the catch phrase "don't sweat the small stuff". Did you ever consider that that phrase is really non-sensical in itself ?
What constitutes 'small stuff' ? What is small stuff to one person may be life or death to another. I once had a friend who could magnify the smallest problem into a major catastrophe !

Without a standard of measurement, the importance or triviality of our experiences are relevant to what extent we react emotionally. Someone may say, "As long as my family is together nothing else is important." or "As long as I have enough money I am OK."

Is that good enough? or is there a better way to measure and evaluate our experiences ?

I was reminded of Paul and the standard he lived by.
He said,
1Co 2:2 "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
Paul's standard of measurement was ... "How does it compare to what I have in Christ? How will it affect eternity ? "

I often ask myself the question when something goes contrary to my expectations.... "Will it matter a year from now ? a month from now? "

A better question would be "How will this affect eternity ? Will it matter? What will I feel like 10 or 50 years from now when I stand on the other side of life? Will I be filled with joy or will I regret my standard of measure? "

It is sooo easy to be caught up in the things of this life, but we have another life waiting for us .. and if we belong to the family of God ... the best is yet to come !!

How much time do you spend getting ready ? How much energy or emotion is wasted on packing trivial daily 'stuff' that you will never need or value in eternity ?

Mat 6:19 -21 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

8 comments:

James Janzen said...

I've thought a lot along these lines. What "appears" to be soo important today can be soo irrelevant tomorrow. Everything on this earth is temporary. Hang on to "important" stuff for 6 months and then you can throw it away because it becomes a worthless. Nothing on this earth will last or will hold meaning. That includes us. We too on this earth will be forgotten.

Elsie said...

Thank you for the reminder of what is really important, the things that will matter in eternity. A former pastor used to say that the only things that are eternal are God, His Word, and people. That's what we should be investing our time into.

Demara said...

I loved the photos of your adventurous mountain trek! I'm glad you were able to do it with little pain. Sad about your jacket! It's funny how it's the small stuff that we usually care so much about. "Great things come in SMALL packages!" That's what I like to remember, because like you and I we are petite people and I need to remember that we can still be great regardless!!! :)

Demara

Trish said...

I am so glad you were able to do the hike. Wow...I drove to work this morning and that verse came to me like some message I should remember....and then again reading your post tonight. You know...I always think I am so NON materialistic...so that that verse does not apply to me....perhaps I am about to find out!

You are right....are priorities, no matter who we are, may be different one from the other. But God does not try to get us to list them...he just says look, your 'real' treasure or priority or 'stash' or favorite button box....that should be in Heaven.

By the way, I like to think that someone really needed that jacket so it was put to good use. I once saw my favorite dress I had worn to church functions on a prostitute...after I had donated to a good will store. I was taken aback but then thought...why should I be offended....it is being put to good use. She needed clothing too. Just hope it wasn't a statement on my 'dressing style'....hmmmm

Strider said...

Another good post! I will sometimes look at things metaphorically. In your case...the jacket. A jacket or coat often represents a "mantel" of authority or calling. It may be that God is going to do a new thing in your life that will be unlike what you have walked in before! I think your best years are yet to come. Blessings.

Lovella said...

oh dear. . .my comment must have not taken . . . .days ago. I did try, and must have scooted away before ensuring that it took.
No matter. . I'm here now and as usual your post is relevant for today and something to be mindful of tomorrow.
Your pictures are beautiful.

Sara said...

Your "valley through the trees" photo speaks to my heart....those sorts of views I long to see every day, high above the fray. But they are not easy to come by here.

One thing I've noticed from the vantage point of decades piled up behind me....it really helps give one perspective to view things with "eternal" eyes beyond the here and now and learn what matters most (to quote Lovella's blog title)....

Maybe that's why distant views like your wonderful photo always tug at my heart.

Judy said...

What a good reminder to focus on things that matter! And I'm so glad you were able to enjoy a pain-free hike, Julie.