It was one month before my high school graduation. And I couldn’t have been more excited! (okay, let’s be honest, and terrified!!) There were so many opportunities to choose from, decisions to be made, and then a party to plan! (I mean, trying to decide between cupcake flavors is pretty serious!) At the same time, I was constantly being asked questions like “Where are you going to college? What are your plans? What are you going to DO?”…starting to sound familiar? :) Choosing my career and my future plans seemed like the most important thing.
A Moment I ‘ll Never Forget
Yet in the midst of these exciting possibilities, my world suddenly felt like it was turned upside down. That month, I received the news that my grandpa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And we didn’t have much time. It was a complete shock - I didn’t know how to think, feel, or even how to pray. A mountain range of emotions overwhelmed me - the excitement of graduation mixed with the deep sorrow of somehow preparing to lose one of the people I love most: A grandpa. A role model. A friend.
Shortly after my graduation ceremony, I traveled to eastern PA to spend two weeks with my grandpa before he went to be with the Lord in mid-July. I was there to serve him - but I came away from that time feeling like he had served me instead. There is one afternoon in particular that is forever ingrained in my memory - a moment I’ll never forget. It was a sunny, spring afternoon and he held my hand in his as we sat in his backyard together. His selflessness deeply touched my heart as he looked past his own pain to share with me the things on his. But you know what he shared with me? He could’ve pointed me to his successes, to the churches he had pastored, to the things he had accomplished. But he didn’t.
He quietly said, “Taylor, have I told you what the most important thing in this life is? The most important thing in life is our salvation. Without that, we have nothing.”
In that moment - in his face wrinkled with pain and weakness - I saw life. I saw hope. I saw a foundation that never shakes, even when everything feels like it’s falling apart. He read Scripture with me, told me to trust God, and reminded me of God’s promise to guide me. I look back on the painful beauty of those moments and realize how they’ve shaped the person I am now, how they brought into focus the real perspective that needs to be the foundation of the rest of my life. My grandpa showed me that yes, these senior year questions are important to answer. But there is something still more important.
Change of Focus
Friend, I’ve been where you are - the questions, the decisions, the uncertainties. And in a lot of ways I’m still there. Life is always full of decisions to be made and questions to be answered. Senior year is only the beginning. But in the midst of all those questions to answer, you have another choice to make: You get to decide your most important thing. Is it an impressive career? Is it your bank account? Is it to be thought well of? Or maybe it is the simple yet life-changing truth my grandpa shared with me: to know Jesus Christ as your Savior and to share His love in whatever you do.
You gain such a freedom when this becomes your most important thing. Making Christ and His love the foundation of your life gives meaning to everything you do, and gives a calling that reaches so far beyond one field of work or career path. This calls for a change of focus. Your questions begin to shift from the “what” to the “how” - not simply “What am I going to do with my life??” but “How can I love Christ through whatever I choose to do?” And I can’t wait to see what He’ll do through you!
So - what is your most important thing?