Does it really matter?

Does it really matter?

I ask myself that question a lot. What’s “it”? Whatever I’m doing that’s consuming my time and attention. I’m all in favor of relaxing and having fun, but I want my life to be about stuff that matters.

So—how do I decide? How do I know if “it” really matters? Last week I stated two criteria:

A third characteristic of stuff that matters seems to involve seeing the big picture. Stuff that really matters can’t be just about “here”—it has to benefit “there” as well. It can’t be about “now” at the expense of “later.”

Stuff that matters must enhance the big picture.

A lot of our efforts are sort of like a ponzi scheme—they work as long as we don’t worry about the big, long-term implications or how others will be impacted. It’s sort of like building a tall fence and tossing your trash behind it. The neighbors won’t be pleased, and eventually the junk accumulates until someone has to deal with it.

Businesses, families, and nations create a façade of economic stability on a foundation of unsustainable debt. Borrowing for now, with no plan for then, just means someone else will ultimately clean up my financial mess.

If technology teaches anything, it’s that there’s no “there.” We’re all “here.” I’m grateful (and amazed) that you’re reading these words on every continent. It’s not just my country, or yours, it’s OUR world. Work that matters can’t enhance my side of the fence while ignoring yours.

I’m often tempted to think of here as my little corner, my house, my town, as though here is a small place. But in terms of stuff that matters,  here is a very big place. Stuff that matters has to consider the “big here” rather than the “small here.”

Same with time—it can’t just be about this moment, because choices that matter have a longer impact. Stuff that matters impacts the “big now” as well as the “small now.”

I think that’s how God sees it. As Father, He sees everywhere, eternally. As Jesus, He understands here and now. And because He’s God, He knows exactly how to keep it all in perfect perspective.

So, stuff that matters:

  • Might be about making money, but it can’t be ONLY about that.
  • Might benefit me, but it benefits others more.
  • Might enhance here and now, but must benefit there and later as well.

Make sense? What did I miss?

What else would you add that helps you decide what really matters?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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