What is Important?

Well, that depends: what remains standing when everything else falls apart?

It’s a question I have been asking myself, and asking God, since last Saturday – April 6th. This past Saturday was the third anniversary of my father’s death. And I had completely forgotten. 

How could I possibly forget that day? How could the importance of April 6th be missed in my head? How could I have forgotten my father? Because my mind was so caught up in everything else that was vying for my attention that I forgot what was important.

In the end, when my mom called and let me know that she and my siblings were at the burial grounds to honor him, only a few things stood next to it.

The day had begun stressful. There was so much work that I had to do for this upcoming week that I had a problem even knowing where to begin. Picking which project to start with was hard enough, especially when one of those projects is a dance club a couple friends of mine started. Now see, I consider this group to be very important to me: not just because my friends are in it, but also because it has such potential. Forgive me – I’m a sucker for starting things.

However, dance practice that afternoon did not go so well. I won’t get into details (I don’t want to complain), but suffice it to say that I learned how frustrated I could get with people. To be honest, that scared me. I’m not usually one who gets easily frustrated with people, especially when they are my friends. And so as the arguing continued around me I sat myself down and cried before the Father – how did things get so messy so quickly? How can I continue to dance with them?

My anger died down, but my bitterness remained in full force. It was when I returned home, put aside all my work and sat myself down to write a rather scathing email to the group about how unprofessional we all were and how we had to fix things, my mom called, asking if I would be able to pray with them on this day to honor my father.

I was emotionally unprepared for such a turn in the events of my day. Thank God for friends who found me sobbing in my room and took care of me. I can’t thank them enough. But very few things stood in the presence of that horrid realization, which were my family and my friends. I did not do any work for the rest of that day, I just couldn’t. I didn’t talk to anyone from the dance group for the rest of the day, instead went out for fro-yo with a dear friend of mine.

On the three year anniversary of my father’s death, I did everything wrong. But I learned that our steps are always dictated by what we think is important. If family was as much of a priority as I believed, I would not have forgotten. If my friends were as much as a priority as I thought, I would not have sent that email. For goodness sakes, if my work was as much of a priority, I would have finished a lot more of it to reserve Saturday to honor my dad instead of saving it all for the weekend. And most importantly, if God was such a priority in my life, my other priorities would have fallen in place. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).

I haven’t had much time to reflect on these things – I’m usually running around. But hopefully I will slow myself down from now on to focus on what is important, instead of chasing everything that calls my name. I pray that I will keep my focus on God, so that my footsteps will follow His plan, and that my mind will remain clear and on Him. That is the way that I can serve Him best – that is how I know what is important.

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