2017 Peace Novena Day 7: What Matters

Choose What Matters

I pray that as we enter day 7 of the 2017 Peace Novena, we are able to concentrate on what matters most, focusing our attention on what is within our power to choose and letting go of that which matters least (and is often beyond our control anyway).

(If you don’t have time for prayer AND reading this post, please choose prayer.)

We get all riled up about so many things, often justifiably so. Yet only a few things in life really have any lasting consequence at all. I believe that peace will flow naturally from focusing our attention on what matters most.

The following essay came to me without author attribution and I share it today so that we might reflect on whether our actions reveal what matters most to us.


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

Your wealth, fame, and temporal 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 skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is what you built not what you bought.
What you gave, not what you got.
What you taught not what you learned.

What will matter is your significance, not your success; your character not your competence.

What will matter is how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone, not how many people you knew.
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 are the memories that live on in those who loved you.

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

It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

My Choice: Family Matters

family portrait

June 2015

My influence on national or world affairs is negligible. And that is just fine by me. But my influence and my choices do matter to those closest to me, my family, my friends, my local community.

Who knows how my love and care for them, my example of integrity, courage, my prayer, or my sacrifice will ripple outward?

Perhaps peace will find the opportunity to flourish within those ripples.

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