Making the Right Things Important

By:  Staci Stallings

I know everyone is not as lucky as I am.  I grew up with two parents who worked hard, but who also worked hard at making the right things important.  I’m not sure I appreciated it at the time.  To be sure, they’ve gotten better about it since our family’s tragedy.  But let me tell you, my folks know it ain’t about having the perfect grass and the shiniest car.  It’s about who you help, what you do, and how much you care.

I don’t know why I got to thinking about this over the weekend.  Then on Monday my lovely husband alerted me to a song by George Strait called “The Breath You Take.”  I highly recommend it.  The gist is that it’s not the breaths we take, the number of them, or how long they last, it’s being there for the moments that take our breath away.

It’s being there when your kid hits the homerun or plays that symphony.  It’s being there when they skin their knee or just need a shoulder to cry on.  It’s being there to cheer them on and to hold them when they just need to cry.

What’s true about kids is true about all of us.  It’s true for friends.  How long will friends stick around if all they ever hear is “I’m too busy”?  Will they be there for you when you’ve consistently been too busy to be there for them?

In our go-go materialistic world, we too often think in terms of getting ahead, buying the bigger house or the nicer car, keeping up with the Joneses.  But the more I live, the more I realize how empty all of those things are.  We are trying to keep up with an illusion.  We are comparing our cons with their pros.

We don’t see that, yes, they might have a fancier car, but we were able to be there for someone who really matters to us.  When we’re chasing “things,” people often get second-shift.

For the next couple of days, I challenge you to make the right things important.  Stop focusing on the breaths you take and start focusing on the moments that take your breath away.  Trust me, you will never regret doing so.

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2 Responses to Making the Right Things Important

  1. Cindy says:

    I found your post while looking up the George Straight Song Moments That Take Your Breath Away and this is my story. I have worked very hard my entire life at the expense of my family and friends. Recently I took a week off of work to see two family members out of state who are terminal. While visiting my aunt who has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is not strong enough to fight it off she asked if I could accompany her, her daughters, grand daughters, my mother,and my daughters on a retreat for a week in Vegas. My imediate response was no sorry I can not get another week off of work. I had a 15 hour drive home to think about my priorities and George Straights Song came on the radio. I came home and discussed the delima with my husband who responded “you can’t not go 3 years from now you won’t even remember what happened with work even if they fire you. We will miss the income for a while, but you will never forget being able to spend 4 more days with your aunt before she passes” I went into work and told them that I needed the additional time off, ther was some resistance because no one else can do my job when I am gone so the hospital looses money, but I told them that I was prepared to issue my letter of resignation right then and there because I was not going to pass up this opportunity for anything. I still have my job and I have the time off but being with my aunt was more important than the material life.

  2. Ah, Cindy. Thank you for sharing your story. Working very hard is great, but doing it at the expense of other people and yourself is not. God never meant for us to be chained to our work–even when it is good and beneficial work. He meant for us to be able to breathe and to learn how to focus on the right things–those things that live into eternity.

    At my grandmother’s funeral, I got to read the reading about the temporary things that will pass away but those things that are unseen will live into eternity. Our challenge here is to put our time, talent, and energy into those things that are eternal–rather than wasting them on things that will die out with this world.

    One guiding principle I try to live by is, “Will this matter in 5 years?” Will it matter that I got this done today? Will it matter that I went to this meeting? If so, then it’s worth putting some things aside to do it. If it’s not, then it’s not.

    I have a plaque in my living room that we gave my husband after his brother died. It says, “Life is like a coin. You can choose how to spend it, but once it’s gone, it’s not coming back.” So choose wisely!

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