Summer of Growth – Part II

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:”

Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV)


I spoke last time about how God took my long list of ways to improve and condensed it into two simple commands: “Love the Lord with all my heart and soul and mind and strength and then love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27, NIV)

God had another conversation with me at the beginning of the summer as well. Relationships. As I stated last time also, we’ve had three deaths in our family in three weeks. Three. Before that, this spring, our daughter lost a classmate suddenly and traumatically also. Death can get a person thinking about what really matters in life.

I started thinking about my own life. The only things I can take with me when I stand before God are those things that I did for Him. Money? I already knew I couldn’t take that, but I argue “We need money to pay bills and supply for our children and family.” Job? “I already knew I was replaceable with my job. There are others who can slip right in and do an even better job that I do.” Possessions? “I also already knew I wouldn’t be taking any of those with me.”


So what will matter when I die?

Relationships. How I invested in the lives God allowed me to interact with while I lived on this earth. Starting with immediate family and branching out to extended family, friends, co-workers, strangers on the street. How does God want me to reflect His love to others?

Time. How I invest in the time I’m given makes a difference as well. I can’t take “time” with me, but when I invest my time in ways which bring value to my life and those of others instead of wasting my time, it matters.

I’ve started weighing my priorities differently this week. Taking more time to connect with people. Accepting more invitations to do things so I can invest in others’ lives. Playing more games, pushing away from the computer and spending an hour talking with my husband and mother-in-law while the kids swam. Planning an “epic road trip” instead of just driving to pick up our son from his summer job five hours away, round trip.

I want to live my life with purpose and part of that purpose is choosing to focus on relationships because God is all about relationships. If they are that important to God, then they need to be that important to me.

© Cheri Swalwell 2018

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