Your Matters List Podcast Notes

Again, more info than we used.  Mostly quotes and ideas about developing good priorities.  Some good stuff and some other stuff.  You decide which is which

I have a couple tests to see what state your life is in.

The back seat test.  If on the spur of the moment you got called on to car pool how much time would it take to clear out the junk from your back seat.

The garage test.  Your garage is a indicator of the condition of your life.  If when I said that you thought “That’s not only an unfair assessment, now you’re just being mean” then you’re probably on the more creative side.  If your garage is in a reasonable state of repair, you’re probably more of an organized person.  Now, if you have one of those garages that is so clean you could eat off the floor and your tools are not only hanging up on a peg board but you have outlined their shape with a sharpie, you’ve gone beyond organized.  That’s a sickness. 

Let me give you one last test.  The closet test.  What does your closet look like right now.  Is it organized?  Are all the shoes neatly placed.

We are all different people.  Some love organization.  Some feel comfortable with a little mess.  That’s just their personality.  Some are creative and free flowing.  That’s okay. But it’s not okay if that’s what your life looks like. 

It’s not okay if this is what your relationships look like.  If you are so busy and your life is so overcrowded that you don’t have time for the relationships that are important it’s not okay.

It’s not okay if this is what your finances look like.

It’s not okay if your priorities look like this.

Are you at the place in your life today where you would just like a little of this.  (Deep breath)  Breathing room.  Would like like a little margin in your life?  Would you like a little margin in your calendar, a little time off in your schedule, a little room in your budget.

“I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.”  ― Todd Stocker

“When you begin to relinquish your ego, you will no longer feel compelled to prove to people how busy you are in an attempt to validate your sense of worth.” ― Miya Yamanouchi,

“Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy.” ― Josef Pieper,

Let me give you a verse that I think can give you more breathing room.  It’s from the book of Ecclesiastes.

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: 2  “Meaningless! Meaningless!”says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.” Ecc 1:1,2

The amount of things in your life that really matter is much smaller than you think.

1. In our culture, meaningless things have taken on too much importance.  (Ecc. 1:3-7)

What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? 4  Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. 5  The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. 7  All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

There is one phrase in these verses that I think perfectly describe how most people live their lives.  Round and round it goes. We are always running

Hamster wheel living.

2. Our culture places a high value on the accumulation of things (Ecc. 1:8, Ecc 2:1-18)

All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. Ecclesiastes 1:8

The accumulation of all things is wearisome.

Amazon.  Never have to wait for things.   

In 2011 advertisers spend $464 billion dollars in advertising.  Just for perspective, California’s state budget is 120 billion dollars.  For 464 billion dollars I could buy 18 million 560 thousand Ford Mustangs.

The amount of things in your life that you think really matter is much bigger than it really is.  We get to this spot because we think everything matters.

Work matters, overtime matters, advancing in the company matters, Your boss’s opinion matters, your co-workers opinion matters, staying connected via email matters, answering texts and phone calls in a timely fashion matters, staying close to work even on your off day matters.

Your house matters. How it’s decorated matters. How it’s landscaped matters.  The condition of the garage matters.  The cleanliness of your closets matters.   New stainless steel fixtures matter.  Granite countertops matter. 

Fashion matters.  Your clothes matter.  Your shoes matter.  Your hair style matters.  Your make up matters.  Being up to date matters. 

Your kids matter.  Their soccer skills matter.  Their voice lessons matter.  Their schooling matters.  Their college education matters.  Their nutrition matters.    Their dental hygiene matters.  Volunteering at their school matters.  Going on their field trip matters.

Your car matters.  Your house matters.  Your career matters.  Your physical fitness matters.  Your fashion matters.  Your finances matter.  Your kids matter.  Your marriage matters.  Your church matters.  Everything matters.  Everything has meaning.  Everything defines you.  It’s no wonder you’re exhausted.  It’s no wonder you’re tired. 

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

1) Find your purpose. 

He challenges us to find satisfaction in your work.  He’s not necessarily talking about your job.  He’s talking about your life’s work.  What your purpose is in life. 

I read an article this last written by a woman named Bronnie Ware.  She works hospice so she is with people the last 3-12 weeks of their life.  Over the years she has made it a habit to ask these people what their biggest regrets are.  Do you want to know what the top two are. 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

2) Pursue God first on your matters list

Put God first.   You’ll find your purpose.  And look what else you’ll get.  To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness

When I was reading that list of things that matter I’m guessing some of you had this experience.  There where things that I read that you agreed that you didn’t need.  Things you could stop pursuing and it would simplify your life.  But there were other things on your list where you thought, that matters.  I need to pursue that.  You know what, you are right.  Your marriage matters and your kids matter and your work matters.  They do matter.  But you had better decide what matters most.  Let me read you one last verse.  Jesus is always the final word and this is what he says really matters.

Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you as well. 

We live in a world where we are told on a regular basis what matters and what matters is everything.  But here’s the great thing about God.  When you seek him first and put him at the top of your matters list, he gives you everything else.  He takes care of your matters list.