Editorial – Final Analysis
Reflecting on her highly accomplished and lengthy career in tennis, Martina Navratilova said, "I just hope that somehow it mattered." When one ponders one's life with all the varied experiences and effects contained therein, the same or similar conclusion might be drawn. These ruminations logically lead to the questions: What really matters? What lasts?
These times have opened to the thoughtful the opportunity to consider where the true riches in life are to be found. The relative value of possessions and the security they provide have been called into question. One's worth based on a particular career or on a particular compensation has been revealed to have clay feet. Where then is the satisfaction in life to be found and the feeling that one's life really mattered? The wisdom often accompanying age may have been visited on many who are much younger in this tenuous period of instability that we are experiencing. Rediscovering the need of God and the treasure of those who love and support you are golden nuggets beyond compare. Jesus warned us not to trust in anything vulnerable to loss, but to put our heart in the love of God and in the shared human love and encouragement that neither thief nor rust can take from you. As if a veil had been removed, we become flushed with renewed hope and confidence. Ambition has given way to appreciation. Free of much that distracted from- and clouded the vision of the higher plane that our life actually travels, we can sift the wheat from the chaff of our life and its pursuits.
Upon each recurrence of my birthday, I am solemnly impressed with the vanity an emptiness of worldly honors and worldly enjoyments, and of the wisdom of preparing for a future estate.
- James K. Polk on his fifty-third birthday
The action required is to set our priorities - which denote the assignment of degrees of importance or of value to the content of what constitutes our life. This process has a restorative and healing effect. A course is laid out that charts a way out of the difficulties that either we ourselves or the vicissitudes of life created. A positive energy fuels our perseverance. The solution to the problems facing us may not be speedily achieved or immediately effective, but the mere fact that we are heading in the proper direction and that we have ceased fostering the circumstances that initiated the struggles lends a salubrious quality to our strivings.
Addressing the question of what matters in life is, in the final analysis, an act of faith. To believe that we are the children of a loving God who guides, but does not coerce us toward fulfilling a unique and lasting work, to recognize that we are an object of love by others in our life, and to grasp the power we possess in the grace provided by that love of God and our loved ones. This power is the foundation upon which we can know our true dignity and employ that worthiness in giving and receiving those things in life that truly matter and that truly last.