“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful — that’s what matters to me.” (Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple in CNNMoney/Fortune, 1993).  What matters most to you at the end of the day?

I’m not trying to be morbid or a Debbie Downer. But death is a part of life you know. As a pastor, I’ve led hundreds of memorial services. I always use that time to challenge the living to think about what matters most. Here’s four things I often say:

  1. We All Die – However, whenever, wherever it happens will vary, but it’s one appointment we will not miss.  King Solomon wrote, “Death is the destiny of every man” (Ecclesiastes 7:2).  We should never forget that we all die.  Remembering this truth should shape how we live.
  2. Life is Short at It’s Longest – Whether it’s a young, middle-age or elderly person, it seems we are never quite ready to let our loved ones go.  We usually wish we had more time with them.  The dash between our date of arrival and departure is very short.  The big question is, how are you living your dash?
  3. Some Things Are More Important Than Other Things – The death of a family member or close friend always teaches us about priorities.  We often wish we had made an effort to see the person one more time or we may regret something we said or did. If we are faced with our own death or someone close to us, we quickly realize that some things we invested a lot of energy in just don’t matter all that much.
  4. God Cares About Us – He didn’t just create us to exist for a few decades and deteriorate to dust. God’s care includes forming us as body, soul and spirit. He designed us to live with purpose and meaning. He breathed His own image into our eternal spirits.  Even more profound, God invites us into an intimate relationship with Him, now and forever.

What matters most to you? Are the things you will invest in and dedicate your life to this week of the highest priority in light of eternity? What does your calendar and checkbook say about what you’ve put at the top of the list? Will it seem important five or twenty-five years from now? What would those who are closest to you say about your priorities? Are you investing your time, talent and treasure in what matters most?

QUESTION: What is one of your top priorities in life? Please share it in the comment section.

15 responses to What Matters Most

  1. Cindy Burke on October 10, 2012 at 9:58 PM Reply

    When I die, I hope I will be remembered as giving my life to helping others, and having great relationships rather than material posessions. May I show Christ shining through me.

  2. Sandy on October 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM Reply

    One of the top priorities in my life is to daily, sow seeds of love, hope, truth, freedom, compassion, goodness and forgiveness – anything less than that means I’ve forgotten what Christ did for me on the cross!

  3. nolenrollins on October 8, 2012 at 8:49 AM Reply

    Dennis,
    You are on target every day! Everything you say points to a “method” for being able to do what you are calling to the attention of individuals. I have worked 10 years on helping people “do” what you are challenging them to do. We must link up again soon to discuss the GPS Life Journey, whose sole purpose is to help people discover and engage in God’s purposes for their lives. It works better than anything available. I know becuse I have tried everything available over the past 10 years. The only thing missing from your entries is – “here is a practical way to follow up.”
    Nolen

    • Dennis Gingerich on October 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM Reply

      Thanks Nolen! I would love to connect with you about the GPS Life Journey. Let’s do that after you get past the luncheon this week.

  4. John Verburgh on October 8, 2012 at 8:21 AM Reply

    I hope to find new ways to be there for my kids. They have suffered so much especially as a result of the divorce and in the process, find the place of ministry that I believe God still has for me.

    • Chuck on October 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM Reply

      John, in response to your post, I am certain that God our Father reserves a special place in His heart for children of divorce. While on this earth, unlike heaven, we experience sorrow and joy mingled in the same cup, and we derive hope from knowing that joy is not the absence of sorrow, but the presence of Christ.

    • Dennis Gingerich on October 8, 2012 at 5:44 PM Reply

      Yes, praying for that to become reality for you, John!

  5. Ron on October 8, 2012 at 8:18 AM Reply

    I hope to leave a legacy for my 4 kids and 4 grandkids like the legacy my parents left for me.

  6. Victoria Purcell on October 8, 2012 at 8:07 AM Reply

    One of my top priorities in life is to learn more about the Lord and His Word; to use it to teach my children and others and give God the glory.

  7. Marilyn on October 8, 2012 at 8:03 AM Reply

    My God and my family are top priorities, followed by service to my community, kindness to others with a feeling hopefully that I’ve done my best. Integrity is high on my value list of priorities. Mostly I don’t often think about lists and don’t have a “bucket list”…except maybe going to Israel before leaving this earth.

    • Dennis Gingerich on October 8, 2012 at 5:42 PM Reply

      Thanks for sharing this priorities Marilyn! Hope you can go to Israel with us or someone some time!

  8. Audrey Lois Fitzgerald on October 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM Reply

    A priority is that which consume most of one’s time and energy. A priority can give meaning and fulfillment to our lives here on earth.
    My top priority is to exalt my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
    Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1

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