What really matters? We all know a long list of things that don’t really matter in the long run. Not money. Not fame. Not accomplishments. Not even the best shoe collection! It leads me to wonder what Jesus thinks matters. Remember the WWJD? bracelets? The idea was that we should consider what Jesus would do—and do likewise. Sometimes, I feel pretty far behind that curve. Maybe you do, too. When I think of all the things He says don’t matter, I get the feeling there’s a lot Jesus would like to undo in me! One day, I got a pretty good lesson from Him on what He’d like to undo if I will allow Him to. And it turned out to be the quickest path to living for what really matters.
There I stood at the kitchen sink, splashing away suds from the oatmeal pan. My mind was wandering, thinking of all the things I had to do before the day was over.
And then I felt it.
Two little arms wrapping around my leg. “Mama? Will you do puzzles with me?” My gut reaction was, “No! I have so much to do. I don’t have time.” As I looked up and began to open my mouth to utter that two-letter word, I caught sight of it. A board hanging in the corner of the kitchen with words etched in chalky-white.
“You can change the world for one person. Love the one God places before you.”
As I let those words sink in, I realized: I had bought into a lie. I was measuring the success of my day by how much I accomplished. My days had become strings of endless and mundane tasks. I had lost sight of what really matters, allowing apathy and comfort to become knots in my life that Jesus wanted to undo.
There is a passage in the Bible that records Jesus’ reply when asked what the greatest commandment is. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:34-40 NIV
Love God and love people. That’s it. That’s what really matters. While I was distracted and falling down a spiral of apathy, putting tasks before people, Jesus was whispering to me, “Look before you. That’s what I have for you to do today.”
Following Jesus means allowing Him to guide our steps. It means setting aside our “to-dos” and instead asking Him, “What do You have for me to do, and what would You like to undo in me today?” As followers of Jesus, we are called to take up our cross daily, and follow Him. But how do we know we are headed the right way—toward what really matters? How do we know we are following His lead?
Here are three sure ways to allow Jesus to undo the knots in your life, and help you step into what really matters.
- See Him. Give thanks for big and little things throughout your day. A hot cup of coffee. Light traffic on the way to work. A nutritious meal surrounded by friends or family. There are so many things to be thankful for every day. The more we have eyes to see the blessings around us, the more we see Him, the giver of all good things, in everything we do.
- Hear Him. Spend time in His Word and praying daily. The more time you spend with Him, the more acquainted you will become with His voice. The better you know His voice, the more easily you can hear His promptings.
- Obey Him. Obey His promptings. Whether He has revealed His will through His Word, during your prayer time, or in a whisper during your day, obey what He is asking of you. When we are walking in obedience to the Lord, in both the big and the small things, we are walking in the light. The light of God shows you what you need to let Jesus undo in your heart. God’s light illuminates areas where you need to give or receive love. And as we’ve already said, loving God and loving people is what really matters.
So as I stood staring down at the chocolate-brown eyes of my three-year-old, it was as if I heard a soft whisper from the Lord. “Love the one I placed before you.” And as I walked to the table of puzzles, with his chubby fingers grasping my hand, I could feel Jesus undoing the knots in my life and reminding me what really matters.
What knots do you have in your life that Jesus wants to undo?