Thursday, April 07, 2011

What Will Matter


Well, so much for getting back to normal.

My mother has been suffering for nearly five years from the effects of a nasty vehicle collision the summer of 2006. Some of you may remember that I wrote about it here on the blog.

Now, as she approaches age 92, her heart has become so fragile and her health is failing so fast that this morning my father informed me he has signed her up for Hospice.

So if I wind up being absent from your Inbox again for a bit, I beg your understanding.

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Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours, or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame, and temporary power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned, or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.
So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and the color of your skin will be irrelevant.

So. What will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built.
Not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your own memories, but the memories others have of you.

Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.

It's not a matter of your circumstances, but of your choices. Choose to live a life that matters.



[Michael Josephson in ThisNThatNoGraphics via Cup O'Cheer]

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WISDOM for YOUR WEEK: "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

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2 comments:

Knee-Mail said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom, Mark. That is a lovely poem which provides lots to think about. Did you write it yourself or copy it from somewhere else? Some parts of it seemed familiar, but not all of it.

I will add her to my prayer list along with you and your dad. After all, the worst thing that can happen to her is that she will go home and be completely cured by The Great Physician, but you, your dad and any other family and friends will have to go through the pain of missing her when the Lord calls her to come home.

Mark said...

The poem was, apparently, written by Michael Josephson and found in a Yahoo UserGroup. I saw it in Kim Quiggle's lovely and uplifting "Cup O'Cheer" post, to which I provided an e-mail address if you'd like to contact her.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and good prayers!