There's nothing like a weekend back home (plus a wedding and a funeral) to remind me how bad I suck at just about everything that matters in life, and how the rest of the things that consume my time and attention just seem insignificant when I take a few steps back from the day-to-day grind.
My grandpa died this week at 82 years old. What a legacy he has left to me and my family. Reflecting on him, I came up with the following 2 lists.
List #1. Things that actually matter at the end of life (i.e. "things that I suck at"):
- Time spent getting to know God and His Word, and trusting Him instead of myself
- How well I loved Mary, served her, nourished & cherished her, built her up, spent time with her, enjoyed her
- How well I loved my kids, provided for them -- not just things, but also time together, people, experiences, education, stories, music, etc.
- If I prayed for my wife and kids, and led them toward Jesus
- Whether I honored my parents & grandparents, spent time with them, and took care of them when needed
- How well I loved and served: Mary's parents, family, and friends .. my siblings and their families .. and extended family and friends
- How I enjoyed God and His creation, worshipped Him, encouraged others toward Him, engaged in His community, and served my community/world
- In my vocation, whether I did it with passion, integrity, excellence, and whether I used my vocation to serve others
List #2. Things that don't matter, never will, and never have (i.e. "things that I spend all my time caring about"):
- How good I was at making or managing money ... except in pursuit of the things listed above
- How well-liked I was by those who didn't know me very well or deeply
- How cool or witty I was (or, more likely, wasn't)
- How perfect and organized my house/car/life is ... and how good I was at "keeping it all together"
- How well my kids performed at school or activities ... or how many veggies they ate
- How much hair I have (left)
- Whether my resume or list of accomplishments was impressive
- Whether I had a position of status or was a nobody, whether I got credit for accomplishments or not, or how high I climbed the success ladder