What's Most Important

What’s Most Important?

Too often I’m not someone who focuses on what’s most important, yet I’m someone who prides herself on her preparations. Every Friday I’m ready to go live with “Morning WOLK with God” at 8:00 a.m., a little panicky at times, but ready. I’ve got my topic. I’ve had time to think it through, to talk it out, to practice during the past several days. Yes, I still have my moments, but I’m prepared.

What’s Not Most Important

Today I’m wearing a new shirt that I got specially for my Morning WOLK with God. I love the buttons on the sleeves and down the side. When I saw it, I thought, what fun. Except that you can’t see the button on the sleeves or down the side—because I’m on camera. Yep, those preparations went really well.

Missed what’s most important there!

Last week I had a play date with my 4-year-old grandson Enzo—which was really a virtual preschool date. I was casually very put together. I had on my cutie pie new shoes, the ones with red and pink flowers on them, a matching tunic-length tee, and the earrings Enzo likes.

But, ladies, the Zoom call was for Enzo, not Grandma. Nobody could see what I was wearing. No one cared about my cutie pie shoes, nor would anyone have cared, even if they had seen me. Yep, those preparations went really well.

Missed what’s most important there!

Back in the day, I was a lobbyist for a short time. Let me add at the outset to this story of woe that I was a terrible lobbyist. One occasion found me so focused on my upcoming testimony before a senate committee that I missed that fact the bill had been pulled from consideration days earlier.

Missed what’s most important there!

On another occasion, a labor leader got so frustrated with my misunderstanding of the issues that he finally shouted, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” He was right. I didn’t. But I looked good. I was wearing a gray pinstriped suit, paired with a crisp white blouse and black, three-inch heels. I carried a professional, yet stylish briefcase, and wore just a touch of perfume. Yep, those preparations worked really well.

Again—I thought I’d prepared in all the right ways only to realize I’d focused on all the wrong stuff, missing what most important at the time.

Missing what’s most important, I catch myself thinking about what I’m going to wear before praying about what I’m going to say. I’ll talk with God and ask that my words might be His words, that you will hear and remember God’s message, not my message, yet I’m looking in my closet wondering how a particular shirt/blouse/sweater will look on camera. Too often I’m focused on the outside stuff, not the inside stuff. Too often my heart’s in the wrong place and when that happens, no amount of outward stylishness can compensate.

What’s Most Important

Jesus talked a lot about our hearts. What’s most important! He also cautioned against too much focus on our outward appearance. More than once, he stopped the Pharisees in their tracks. They looked good, too, all robed up and carefully attired, yet their hearts had too often been in the wrong place.

I started today’s message, saying “I pride myself.” And therein lies the problem, pride. Pride brings the heart down into sub-zero temperatures. And that’s not who I want to be. Google Bible verses about pride. Yikes!

You will often hear me referring to letters the apostle Paul wrote, because Paul’s heart was with the new church after Jesus’ resurrection, with people trying to follow God in very real, practical ways. Whenever possible, he encouraged them; he helped them focus on what’s most important. When necessary, he admonished them.

Our Friday morning WOLK, W-O-L-K which stands for words of loving kindness, came from his letter to Titus about God’s loving kindness being our saving grace. His letter to the people of Corinth talks about love being patient and kind, not envious, not boastful, not arrogant.

It’s so easy to get distracted in our walk with God and each other. We are surrounded by powerful messages—gotta do this, gotta have that, gotta wear this, gotta achieve that.

What I’m wearing Friday mornings is not what’s most important. Enzo didn’t care about the cutie pie shoes (although he did like my earrings). He was delighting in Grandma being at his side, taking time to be with him. As a lobbyist my credentials and tailor were not what’s most important.

Last weekend my son Kevin came for dinner with his family. Proudly displayed in the living room (note the words “proudly displayed”) was a 3rd grade science fair project that we’d found in the attic. His hypothesis asked the question: Does the size of the rocket determine the height it can fly? The results of his tests were inconclusive, since he’d been unable to determine the wind’s impact on his experiment.

What was not inconclusive was whether his project included too much mother. When I asked Kevin if he’d like to take home the board, his certificate of achievement, and his blue ribbon, he shook his head.

“Mom, do you still have my rocks?”

As a small boy, he’d collected rocks, rocks of all shapes and sizes, pretty rocks and fossils, backyard rocks and hand-me-down rocks from his mom and his grandpa, possibly his great-grandpa, too.

I was so excited to share our find with Kevin, but my careful preparations had not focused what’s most important. My pride was delighting in that blue ribbon, his perfect score. And let’s be honest, my perfect score on the 3rd grade science project. Kevin’s memories of those rocks had been what’s most important, rocks he thought his son Enzo might enjoy.

Important Word of Loving Kindness

Words of loving kindness don’t connect to buttons and shoes and gray pin-striped suits. They connect us to the moments we get to share with each other on Friday mornings, during Wednesday playdates, when a son shares childhood treasures with his own son.

Heavenly Father,

We give You thanks and praise for the love and kindness that You have shared with us,

that we get to share with those around us.

Your love never fails! Amen.

May your own words (and deeds) of loving kindness connect you to what’s most important.

Deanna is the author of two books, Fruit of My Spirit and Signs in Life.

Deanna Nowadnick author

Hi, I'm Deanna

I am a writer and speaker who loves helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God’s extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered knowing God’s been in the details–always has been, always will be.

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