One of the advantages of getting to our stage in life (almost 74 years old) is realizing what’s important and what’s not.
It’s taken a lot of years, but at my age you realize that your time on this earth is getting shorter and shorter. You become aware that your ‘eye sight,’ both real eye sight and spritiual eye sight, are becoming clearer, more focused.
People our age or even younger are leaving this mortal coil for many different reasons. I can’t deny my time is coming — either sooner or later. It’s time to make decisions as to what’s important in my life. Where do I want to spend my time and energy? What kind of foot print, no matter how small and insignificant, do I want to leave behind me.
So, here’s what I think is important to me and what’s not.
My Personal Relationship with God. Without question, this is the most important thing in my life above all else. God is the source of all that’s real and of value in my life. It’s this relationship that gives me a clearer view of myself and my world around me.
My Relationship with Betty. Betty is God’s gift to me and he calls me to love her as Jesus loves the church. The Bible has three Greek words that are translated as love. Phileo means a friendship, brotherly/sisterly kind of love. Betty is my best friend and we daily share this kind of love. Eros is the physical love shared between a husband and wife. We are blessed to share this kind of love even at our age. Finally Agape is the sacrificial love that Jesus shares with us by taking our sins upon himself and dying the death we deserve. This is the kind of sacrificial love that God calls me to show Betty as her husband. I’m still learning how to do that and often come up short, but it’s a focus of the days I have remaining with her on this earth.
My Relationship with My Sons and Their Families, Our Extended Family and Our Friends. We are blessed with two fine Christian men as our sons. They and their families are an important third priority upon this earth. Being grandparents is the grace that God gives us for all the mistakes we made as parents. We have extended family members who are important to us as well. Finally, we have a few good friends who give us life and grace through their friendship.
Our Ministries Within Our Church. My final focus is our ministries in our church, Faith Church. We are blessed to share Jesus’ love with people through our pastoral counseling ministry we have been doing for almost 35 years. Even after all these years, we still know that it’s God’s presence and his power through his Spirit that makes a difference. We’re just tools that he uses to show his presence and power. The other ministry we focus on is our volunteering at Care Net Pregnancy Center. What we do is a very small part in the battle to save unborn children, but we do what we can and trust the rest to God’s providence.
Everything Else. Those are the four important priorities of my life for whatever time I have remaining. There are other things I enjoy such as walking with and loving on Jessie our Golden Retriever. I enjoy taking and editing photographs. I enjoy reading a good book. Betty and I enjoy the trips we are able to take. And, of course, I very much enjoy Betty’s cooking along with a good wine to drink.
These are all enjoyable, but they are not important priorities. I can and will give them up if they interfere with the four most important priorities that give me life and that give my life meaning.